How to investigate formal complaints of harassment and bullying

A unique manual to guide you through the complex process of investigating formal complaints of harassment, bullying, victimisation and discrimination in the workplace has been developed by Jean Kelly Consultancy.

The consultancy has seven years’ experience of investigating more than 50 formal complaints of harassment, bullying, victimisation and/or discrimination within large public and private sector organisations – many of these involving senior staff and ultra sensitive issues. 

Jean Kelly has developed a proven system of investigation which shows you how to

  • cut through conflicting evidence
  • navigate legal minefields
  • deal with reluctant interviewees
  • find and analyse worthwhile evidence
  • adopt a professional approach to all interviews
  • reach conclusions based on facts
  • make impartial findings
  • produce a clear, evidential and transparent report

Jean Kelly said, “This manual has been developed to give you peace of mind.  Even if you have a sound policy and procedure in place for investigating formal complaints of harassment and bullying, can you be sure that your investigators – many of whom may never have had to investigate before – have the skills and expertise to undertake this responsible task?

“If you order a copy of this manual for each investigator, you will feel confident knowing that your investigators will follow a consistent approach that is sound and practised.  This will prevent them from ‘going off on a frolic of their own’ – which could leave your organisation vulnerable to litigation. 

“By providing them with copies of this manual, you will make sure your investigators are impartial and adopt an approach in line with your policy and procedures – in other words, a proven method that has stood the test of time.

“Conducting formal investigations inefficiently and in an amateurish way can be expensive in time, money, litigation and morale.  Long drawn out investigations lead to considerable time lost by the investigator (a senior member of staff), Human Resources, the parties involved and staff members who are witnesses. 

“If the investigation is not conducted efficiently, team working can break down, staff can go on long term sickness due to stress and working relationships can be seriously damaged.

“By following the proven procedure outlined in this manual, your investigators will develop skills and confidence to ensure that the investigation is conducted in a timely, impartial and fair manner.  The findings will stand up to scrutiny and be unlikely to be appealed.  Less damage will be inflicted on staff morale and less time will be wasted as the investigation will be carried out in a competent and professional manner.”

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