Handling Workplace Investigations and Incidents Legally in Singapore (LIVE Stream)
When an employee makes an informal or formal complaint, the employer should take immediate steps to stop the alleged conflict, protect involved parties and begin investigations. Under many laws, employers are legally obligated to investigate complaints (harassment, discrimination, retaliation, safety and ethical) in a timely manner. In addition, any appropriate corrective action is required to be taken by the employer to ensure illegal actions and behaviours cease immediately. Responsiveness to a complaint and an investigation will not only yield the best information and evidence, but it will also enhance both the investigator’s and the employer’s credibility. Investigations can help the organization identify and resolve internal problems before they become widespread. Given that every complaint has the potential to become a lawsuit, employers should investigate every case in a manner in which it can be presented to a court of law, if necessary. As potentially disruptive as investigations can be, they must be prompt, thorough and effective to ensure everyone’s protection. Proper steps should be taken as soon as the employer receives a verbal or written complaint.
10 Common Investigation Mistakes
- Failing to plan.
- Ignoring complaints.
- Delaying investigations.
- Losing objectivity.
- Being distracted during interviews.
- Using overly aggressive interview tactics.
- Not conducting a thorough investigation.
- Failing to reach a conclusion.
- Failing to create a written report.
- Failing to follow up with those involved.
Valuable Key Takeaways From This Course
- Understanding termination provisions in the Employment Act
- Express and implied terms in the employment contract relating to termination
- Familiarisation with other legislation relevant to the termination of the employer-employee relationship
2) The complaint
- Ensuring there is a process in force with regard to the institution of complaints
- To whom must the complaint be lodged and in what manner must it be lodged?
- How should the terms of the complaint be framed and communicated to the employee in question?
3) The investigation
- Who should conduct the investigation?
- How can it be done such that it is regarded as fair and objective?
- Retention of accurate records for the hearing
- What is the best manner of taking evidence from both sides
- Is there a need for an inquiry?
4) The inquiry and conclusion
- How should the hearing take place including who should be allowed to speak and how should evidence be taken?
- Who is allowed to be present during the inquiry?
- Who should make the decision?
- Can a lawyer be involved if the employee requests his presence?
- Is there a right to suspend or demote the employee instead of terminating his employment?
- What is the level of proof that is required in a hearing before an employee can be termination
5) What happens subsequent to the inquiry
- Appeals against the decision
Who Should Attend?
HR Professionals business owners, executives and other professionals involved in HR work including senior managers and Senior Management
Mr. Christopher Bridges has over 30 years’ experience as a litigator and practices General Litigation. His field of practice as a General Litigator is wide and varied. He is accredited on the List of Leading Counsel maintained by the High Court of Singapore which appoints on behalf of the State, senior criminal practitioners who are assisted by an assistant Counsel from a similar List of Assisting Counsel to represent a Defendant facing the Death Penalty and whose fees are paid for by the High Court.
He is also involved in the Academic Field as a Part Time Lecturer and has lectured at both the Singapore Polytechnic and Murdoch University where he conducts tutorials for Diploma Students in Business Law, covering topics on creation of contracts, employment rights and Law of International Trade which covers Carriage of Goods by Sea and Air, Maritime Insurance and Sale of Goods as well as Australian Consumer Law and Hospitality and Tourism Law.
Mr. Bridges graduated from the University of London in 1988 and was called to the Bar of England and Wales by the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple in 1989 after sitting for the Bar Finals where he won a Book Prize for Best Overseas Student in General Paper 1. He was admitted as an Advocate and Solicitor to The Supreme Court, Republic of Singapore on 6th June 1990. He is a Notary Public and a Commissioner for Oaths.