Improper Conduct in the Workplace

Every company should have a guiding document so employees know the required standard of behaviour in the work place. This document is generally known as the Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct outlines the expectations of the company regarding the behaviour of employees towards their colleagues, supervisors, the overall organisation, customers, and suppliers. 

This document should guide employees and should be included in any induction program for new employees and suppliers – the latter relating to the expectations of ethical behaviour from suppliers when dealing with the company. 

The Code of Conduct guides behaviour but it also reinforces a need for compliance by highlighting processes and sanctions if an employee or supplier breaches the Code. 

The Code should highlight the company will not tolerate conduct such as discriminatory behaviour, harassment in any form, improper conduct including language, or victimisation. It should stress a breach of the Code may lead to dismissal and legal action to recoup losses if necessary.

The Code should also address use of company resources, equipment, vehicles, and other property. 

Employers need to know the ramifications of taking disciplinary without proper grounds. Administrative tribunals will find against the employer if s/he does not try to correctly address improper conduct in the work place.

ACCA is experienced in workplace investigations. Mick Symons is a member of the Association of Workplace Investigators. This is an international organisation providing specific advice on conducting workplace investigations. He is a specialist in these investigations and knows the traps leading to challenges to the outcome of investigations if they are not conducted under Administrative law. 

Some companies cut corners by conducting an internal investigation – this may save money in the short term but it can lead to a costly outcome if the investigation is challenged in any tribunal. The “expertise” of the investigator is questioned, the company is criticised and there is potential adverse media exposure. 

Contact ACCA for an initial free consultation on any workplace concerns.

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