COMPLAINTS MANAGEMENT

PURPOSE:
This policy establishes a mechanism for dealing with customer complaints about services or actions.

SCOPE:

This corporate policy will apply to all QLeave staff (including permanent, temporary and casual workers) and covers all complaints received by QLeave including complaints about services, actions and staff conduct (other than those excluded below).

It does not cover dissatisfaction with decisions, determinations or directions made by the Authority under section 87 of the Building and Construction Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Act 1991 or section 91 of the Contract Cleaning Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Act 2005
It also does not cover complaints that are regulated by legislation, policies and systems such as reports of suspected official misconduct, public interest disclosures, staff complaints and staff appeals. For these matters please refer to the relevant policy and/or procedure.

It does not cover inquiries or simple queries as such contact does not constitute a complaint. Feedback and suggestions are important in assisting us to improve our services and deliver better outcomes and while not considered to be complaints they
are dealt with under separate business procedures.

CONTEXT:

This policy has been developed to comply with the requirements of ISO 10002 - 2014 Customer Satisfaction - Guidelines for Complaints Handling in Organisations.

Complaints are a valuable source of feedback and are an important tool for business improvement and staff development. Diligent and prompt attention to complaints increases customer satisfaction and improves performance.

DEFINITIONS:

Complaint: A generic term referring to the expression of dissatisfaction, orally or in writing, about the service or actions of an agency or its staff where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected.

Complaints Management System: The corporate policy, procedure, personnel and technology used by an agency in receiving, recording, responding to and reporting about complaints.

Formal complaint: A complaint that was not able to be resolved at the first point of contact, and where the customer conveys that they are seeking further action to be taken.

Wherever possible the complaint should be submitted in writing to the General Manager either directly from the customer, or documented by an officer of QLeave on behalf of the customer so that all aspects of the complaint can be accurately understood and investigated. Verbal and anonymous complaints will be accepted.

POLICY:

The General Manager and QLeave's Leadership Team support and promote a positive and constructive approach to complaint management and acknowledge its value as a business practice. QLeave is receptive to customer complaints and encourages feedback, both positive and negative. QLeave also promotes a 'complaint friendly' culture that respects people's right to complain about any aspect of QLeave's operations.

QLeave recognises that complaints:

  • are about accountability,
  • are an important part of customer service,
  • are inevitable and must be managed effectively,
  • cost money and reflect badly on QLeave if not handled properly, and
  • can lead to business process improvement.

To facilitate the effective management and resolution of complaints, QLeave will be guided by the following principles:

Visibility and Access
  • Information and advice about complaints management is available on the website and accessible to all staff and members of the community
  • business units will ensure adequate resources, including staff and training, are available to assist complainants and to manage complaints.

Responsiveness
  • Complaints will be dealt with within reasonable time-frames
  • All parties to a complaint will receive regular progress reports / updates throughout the process

Assessment and Action
  • Complaints will be investigated without prejudice to any other right a complainant might have.
  • The principles of natural justice will be applied to all complaints.
  • Complaints will be managed in a fair and consistent way.
  • Awareness that there may be more than one issue to be addressed within the complaint.
  • Complaints will be dealt with confidentially wherever possible and complainants respectfully treated.
  • Personal information collected as part of the complaints process will be managed in accordance with QLeave's Privacy Policy.
  • Complainants will not suffer any reprisal from QLeave or its officers for making a complaint.
  • Unreasonable complainant behaviour which raises substantial health, safety, resource or equity issues for the organisation or its staff will still require the complaint to be dealt with fairly and equitably.

QLeave acknowledges that unreasonable behaviour is not acceptable and that staff's safety and well being are paramount when dealing with these circumstances if they arise. If required staff have the option of escalating any complaint at any stage.

Feedback
  • All parties to a complaint will receive information that clearly explains how and why a decision was made.
  • The complainant will be informed of any further review mechanism that is available should he/she be dissatisfied with action taken by QLeave in relation to their complaint.

Monitoring Effectiveness
  • Complaint data will be analysed to identify systemic issues that need to be addressed in order to improve performance.
  • Where potential system improvements are identified, such feedback shall be communicated to the relevant business unit for implementation.

In addition it is QLeave's policy that:
  • There are no charges to the complainant for complaints lodged with QLeave.
  • All complaints will be treated with the strictest confidentiality and in accordance with the privacy principles contained in the Information Privacy Act 2009.
  • Reasonable assistance will be available to complainants with special needs including complainants who are unable to lodge a complaint in writing or people requiring interpreter service assistance.
  • Complainants will be advised of outcomes as soon as possible after a decision is made. They are to be given reasonable feedback including adequate and well articulated reasons for the complaint outcome. They will also be advised of external review options or statutory appeal options (where applicable).
REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

The complaints management system will be used to identify systemic and recurring problems, guide complaint reduction strategies and improve service delivery. The General Manager will report quarterly to the Leadership Team regarding complaints received and the subsequent resolution and outcomes.

Each financial year, by 30 September, the General Manager will publish a report to the website detailing:
  • the number of customer complaints received by QLeave in the financial year
  • the number of those complaints resulting in further action
  • the number of those complaints resulting in no further action

RELATED INFORMATION:

QLeave Complaints Management Procedure
Guidelines for Complaints Handling in Organisations, ISO 10002:2014
QLeave's Health & Safety Procedure PR/CD/10160

Last modified: October 2017