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Investigation outcome leads to policy review

The Situation

A recent investigation into out of hours conduct involving a small group of employees and their line manager found that inappropriate use had been made of the employers IT system (email and internet) and smartphones. This inappropriate use had resulted in offensive and homophobic messages being sent to the line manager.

The Task

The investigation by OWR resulted in sustained findings against the employees but disciplinary action was limited by outdated policies that did not adequately cover the inappropriate use of IT resources and specifically limited disciplinary action to conduct taking place at the workplace and in work hours.

An appendix to the investigation report highlighted these deficiencies and recommended action to review and update a number of policies.


OWR was requested to conduct the additional task of updating the employer’s Code of Employee Conduct and Bullying, Intimidation and Harassment Policy to incorporate the recommended action as well as updating them generally to confirm with a work environment where mobile devices and out of hours contact between staff members is the new norm.

OWR also developed a new Social Media component for the employer’s existing IT policy document.

Results for the client

A combination of the outcomes of the original investigation and publicity and briefing sessions on the revised policies has resulted in a heightened awareness by staff at all levels of their responsibility to use employer IT and communication devices in a more responsible manner.

Additionally, the potential for inappropriate after hours conduct to result in disciplinary outcomes has been the subject of a separate program of briefings to staff.

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