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  • James Judge

Dealing with difficult and complex complaints

Complaints can become complex for many reasons, including a small percentage of complainants behave in ways that are counterproductive to their own interests.

In this episode of the HR Breakfast Club podcast I am joined by two experts with decades of experience dealing with difficult and complex complaints, Chris Wheeler and Gabrielle Sullivan

Chris was NSW Deputy Ombudsman and has extensive experience in conducting hearings, formal workplace investigations as well as developing guidelines for complaint handling, whistleblowing and ethical conduct. Gabrielle is a NSW Accredited Specialist in Employment and Industrial Relations and Director in the Employment Law and Investigations Group at BAL Lawyers.

It was a fascinating conversation in which we discussed

  • The most common causes of complex complaints

  • Strategies to ensure complaints don’t escalate

  • Legally speaking, what is procedural fairness and how does it apply in workplace investigations?

  • How mental health and personality disorders can impact complaint handling

  • The ins and outs of privacy, secrecy, confidentiality and reasonable disclosure, for complainants, whistle-blowers and complaint handlers, and

  • Ways to avoid criminal charges and litigation when addressing workplace complaints

This link has more information on the Dunning-Kruger effect Chris mentions.


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