As Paramedics, at some stage in your career you are likely to have involvement in a workplace investigation either as a witness, complainant or subject officer. The Australian Paramedics Association (APA) has represented hundreds of Paramedics involved in workplace investigations.
Here are the answers to the most frequently asked investigation questions by subject officers.
Q1. Do I have to attend an investigation interview?
Yes. As an employee, you have an obligation to follow reasonable and lawful directions from your employer. A direction to attend an investigation interview is considered to be a reasonable and lawful direction. However, if you are unfit to attend an investigation interview then you should obtain a medical certificate and reschedule the interview to a later date when you are fit to participate in the interview. APA can assist you with rescheduling an investigation interview.
Q2. Can my employer investigate if they have not received a formal complaint?
Yes. A common misconception is to assume that unless an employer has received a formal complaint, they cannot conduct an investigation. Irrespective of how an employer has become aware of an alleged issue, an employer is entitled (and quite often obligated) to investigate an alleged issue once they become aware of it.
Q3. Am I entitled to know what an investigation is about prior to an investigation interview?
Yes. You are entitled to be informed about the allegations or complaints before you attend an investigation interview but you may not be informed of the specific details or the evidence gathered until you attend the interview. If you have not been provided with sufficient information for you to understand the subject matter of the investigation, you should request more information prior to your investigation interview. APA can assist you with this process.
Efthimia Voulcaris is a Partner of Devaney Investigations and is an independent workplace and corruption investigator. Efthimia is also admitted as a lawyer in the State of Queensland and is a HR professional certified by the Australian HR Institute. Efthimia was the Lawyer for the Australian Paramedics Association for a period of 5 years and is currently engaged as the external and principal industrial advisor for the Australian Paramedics Association in Queensland and Tasmania.