POLICIES

COMPLAINTS/GRIEVANCE/CONCERNS PROCEDURE

 

To instigate this procedure you need to be a:

  1. Well for Life (WFL) Service user or volunteer

  2. WFL worker (or seconded worker, or on student placement, or be deemed to be employed by WFL)

If you are a service user and have a complaint about WFL services and not an individual, contact the Manager who will:

  • Advise and guide you

  • Take your complaint to the appropriate person/people

  • Try to resolve your complaint as quickly as possible (usually within 21 days)

 

This procedure is to be used if it is felt by one individual (the Complainant) that another within WFL has behaved inappropriately.

 

Endeavour to resolve any grievance at the earliest possible stage. Be reasonable and think what is required to resolve the grievance. Do not gossip to others and keep information confidential.

 

Stage 1

Contact directly the Complainant Be as sure as possible about the facts. There may be some genuine misunderstanding. Try to resolve the issue on a one to one basis.

 

If the Complainant feels this is inappropriate, or needs advice and guidance:

 

Stage 2

Contact another person within WFL to act as a mediator.  The mediator should:

 

  • Not take sides or have a vested interest

  • Listen carefully to the complainant

  • Offer fair advice and guidance

  • Organise a three way meeting between the complainant, the complainant and the mediator

 

The mediator can get confidential advice and guidance from the Manager or a member of Board of Trustees. Neither of these parties should be seen to have a vested interest.

 

If the grievance is not resolved:

Stage 3

It should be taken to the grievance group, a small panel charged and empowered by the Management Committee. The grievance group shall ensure that all parties involved in the grievance are fully informed of its nature in writing. The grievance group may:

  • Suspend parties pending an investigation

  • Collect and collate evidence and information

  • Interview relevant witnesses and parties as they see fit.  Complainant and Complainant are entitled to be accompanied by a representative or advocate at such interviews.

This procedure should take no longer than 21 days.

The grievance group should then determine how the grievance should be resolved. The group have the power to:

  • Issue verbal and written warnings

  • Exclude volunteers/members from specific areas of work within DPS permanently or for a specific time

  • Permanently exclude volunteers/members from DPS premises

Verbal warnings (although written) stay on volunteer file for 3 months, written warnings stay on volunteer file for 6 months. During these periods if a further complaint is received a warning may be used in evidence. After the allotted time it must be destroyed and not used in evidence.

The group decision must be communicated within 7 days to the Complainant and Complainant.

Appeals

Appeals may be made in writing to the Chair of WFL within 7 days of receipt of the decision. The Chair will call a full special meeting of the Management Committee within 21 days. At that meeting members of the Committee are obliged to hear the nature of the appeal but to endorse the decision of the grievance group unless there is fresh evidence, or there have been procedural anomalies. The Management Committee’s decision is final.

If a volunteer/member, without notice or good reason, persistently fails to attend meetings reasonably arranged, decisions taken shall not be invalidated.

If a grievance is against a member of the Management Committee, they shall not be involved in any decision-making capacity at any stage of the procedure.

In the event of the grievance being against an employee, seconded employee, placement or other who may be deemed to be employed by WFL, stages 1 and 2 apply. If the grievance is not resolved at one of these the line manager must then be fully informed and a decision taken as to whether disciplinary action needs to be taken. If so procedures will follow ACAS guidelines as outlined in the booklet ‘Discipline at Work’.

Types of disciplinary penalty

After a disciplinary hearing, you can:

  • drop the matter

  • provide counselling or training to help resolve the matter

  • apply a disciplinary penalty, eg demotion or dismissal

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