There is a growing trend in New Zealand for complaints to be made to employers by employees against their colleagues or by customers of a business against its employees. It is sometimes tempting to ignore such complaints, but the legal duty on employers is to carry out and fair and transparent investigation or risk a personal grievance.

Complaints against employees can relate to bullying or inappropriate behaviour in the workplace or some other misdemeanour which could entail disciplinary action.Through several cases, the Employment Court and Employment Relations Authority have sought to define what satisfies the test for a fair and transparent investigation. The standards set by the Court and Authority have encouraged many employers to seek out skilled independent investigators to conduct the investigation for them. By doing so, it provides a degree of protection to the employer from criticisms received from an aggrieved employee.

I am a very experienced employment lawyer and I understand the evidential requirements necessary to meet the threshold for misconduct. Through my training as a lawyer, advocate, negotiator, and coach, I am skilled at asking the right questions to get to the bottom of any complaint.

My investigation reports are of a high quality to ensure that the investigation carried out is thorough and fair to all parties and provide sufficient information for the employer to decide the best way forward.

Read Employment New Zealand's advice on how to carry out an investigation

I act as an independent investigator and am not a gun for hire. As part of my investigative role, I do not provide legal advice so you may wish to instruct your own lawyer to assist you with any disciplinary process which may follow the investigation. I am happy to work with any lawyers that you instruct.

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I had an employee situation of the worst kind. Michael came highly recommended from a colleague and he promptly advised us of our obligations and rights as an employer to put this nasty situation to rest with minimum disruption to the business. It was dealt with quickly, professionally and the recommendation was thoroughly justified
Mark Dixon - Format Interiors, Auckland
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