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eWISE May 2019                                     
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eWise - May 2019


WISE has had a fantastic response to our training in 2019, and we still have some session spots available! 

Our training is skills based, developed for investigators, by investigators. We provide one and three day training focusing on 'Conducting Workplace Investigations', and a four-day Reportable Conduct training.  

Our next three day session is being held in Canberra 12-14 June 2019 - spaces are limited, so get in quick! Organisations who book more than 3 employees are eligible for a 10% discount. 

Alternative training sessions, including dates and locations are details below under 'What's On'. 

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Reminder that Whistleblower Legislation laws are due to change from 1 July 2019, and criminal sanctions are applicable for those who don't comply. 

WISE has developed a FREE Whitepaper to assist organisations be fully prepared for upcoming the changes. 

In The News

According to Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins, she was hopeful when opening Australia's first national inquiry into workplace sexual harassment. However, when asking businesses to waive non-disclosure agreements with employees - so they can discuss past harassment, only approximately 30 organisations agreed by the deadline. 

The Australian Human Rights Commission found in 2018, after consulting nearly 100 employment and trade groups and 400 written submissions, that a third Australian employees have reported being sexually harassed. 

They found that non-disclosure agreements hindered this process. 

After a number of companies granted the waiver, the inquiry received additional submission from people who had signed non-disclosure agreements. 

Commissioner Jenkins doesn't believe that eliminating non-disclosure agreements will end sexual harassment, rather the thinking on settlements and subsequent non-disclosure needs to be 'flipped', so that organisations focus less on covering up the problem and more on stopping it.  

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Sexual harassment is 'alarmingly commonplace' in the Australian legal profession according to a landmark survey of 7000 lawyers over more than 100 countries. Almost 30% of Australian lawyers reported being sexually harassed in the workplace, and is amongst the highest reported rates of bullying an harassment in the world (60% of respondents).

The International Bar Association (IBA) conducted and released a survey which found 57% of bullying cases and 75% of sexual harassment cases worldwide were not reported

IBA have made 10 recommendations for change, including improving avenues for reporting bullying and harassment, engaging with younger members of the profession, gathering data and improving transparency, and maintaining the momentum for change

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KPMG's head of people and culture said the firm wanted a workplace where all staff and partners felt safe and could express confidence in the firm's complaint handling procedures

"When we receive a complaint, whether formal or informal, anonymous or otherwise, our immediate priority is to work quickly to determine the nature of the complaint and appropriate next steps".  

Consulting firm KPMG conducted a secret internal investigation into a senior partner after receiving a series of anonymous postcards accusing him of workplace bullying. 

Specialist were called into investigate the source of a series of anonymous postcards sent to the firm's leadership over an 18-month period. At the same time, the firm also conducted a secret internal investigation into the allegations outlined in the postcard. This process included interviewing female partners and staff without directly asking them or referring to the nature of the queries.

The seperate confidential investigation was utilised as concerns were held that airing the claims could unfairly damage the senior partners reputation.  

It is a reminder for employers that there is no textbook approach or one-size fits all solution, because no two issues are the same. Having a broad range of avenues, from informal to formal to whistle-blower systems, encourage employees to raise concerns. 

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If you are interested in reading our blogs regularly they are released weekly on our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn social media pages - simply search for WISE Workplace on your chosen social media platform.  


Workplace Bullying: Observations from Our Investigators 

By Vince Scopelliti

Like schoolyard bullying, workplace bullying is far from a new phenomenon. When people who may not have much in common outside work are thrust together on a daily basis, there are bound the be disputes, friction and potentially even outright hostility. 

Of course, any serious matters need to be dealt with by conducting a thorough workplace investigation. 

Read the full article


Sharing Information After a Workplace Investigation

By Vince Scopelliti

For employers, the completion of a workplace investigation can feel like the end of a marathon. The relevant issues have been aired and discussed, a report delivered and decision made. However, it is also important to effectively share relevant information with affected parties and the broader organisation as the investigation process draws to a close.

Read the full article


Substantiating Claims of Reportable Conduct

By Vince Scopelliti

It is one of society's great shames that our most vulnerable individuals are often open to abuse by those entrusted with their care. However, it is somewhat edifying to know that stringent legal and regulatory measures are in place in Australia to ensure that employers and others act quickly when allegations arise of abuse in care.

Read the full article


The Privacy Act: Implications for Workplace Investigators

By Vince Scopelliti

There can be many questions, fears and insecurities that arise in the course of a workplace investigation. Experienced investigators are often asked by witnesses and other staff to divulge what has been said and by whom. This is unsurprising; after all, for one or more people their reputation and/or job could be on the line as a result of accusations made.

Read the full article


What's On


Conducting Workplace Investigations - Advanced (3-days)

Location: Canberra
Date: 12- 14 June 2019 

Location: Brisbane
Date: 10 - 12 September 2019 

Location: Sydney
Date: 16 - 18 October 2019 

Location: Melbourne
Date: 12 - 14 November 2019 

Investigating Workplace Misconduct (1-day)

Location: Melbourne

Date: 17 June 2019 

Location: Perth
Date: 29 July 2019 

Location: Hobart
Date: 13 August 2019 

Location: Darwin
Date: 16 September 2019 

Location: Canberra
Date: 19 November 2019 

For more information on Investigating Workplace Misconduct

Investigating Abuse In Care (4-day)

Location: Melbourne
Date: 23-26 July 2019 

Location: Sydney
Date: 6-9 August 2019 

For more information on Investigating Abuse In Care




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