Complaints Policy

1. Introduction

University Jewish Chaplaincy is committed to providing high quality services and to dealing with all our supporters and sponsors fairly.

We acknowledge that we may not always get it right so if something has gone wrong, and you to tell us we will try to put it right.

This organisation expects staff at all levels to be committed to fair, effective complaint handling. This policy applies to all staff receiving or managing complaints from the public, lay leaders, donors and students made to or about University Jewish Chaplaincy, regarding our campus provision or head office management.

2. Terms and Definitions.

(a) Complaint

Expression of dissatisfaction made to or about us, our services, staff or the handling of a complaint where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected or legally required.

A complaint covered by this Policy can be distinguished from:

  • Staff grievances
  • Public interest disclosures made by our staff
  • Code of conduct complaints [see our code of conduct]
  • Responses to requests for feedback about the standard of our service provision
  • Reports of problems or wrongdoing merely intended to bring a problem to our notice with no expectation of a response

(b) Complaint Management System

All policies, procedures, practices, staff, hardware and software used by us in the management of complaints.

(c) Dispute

An unresolved complaint escalated either within or outside of our organisation.

(d) Feedback

Opinions, comments and expressions of interest or concern, made directly or indirectly, explicitly or implicitly, to or about us, about our products, services or complaint handling where a response is not explicitly or implicitly expected or legally required.

(e) Service Request

  • Requests for action
  • Requests for the provision of services and assistance
  • Routine inquiries about the organisations business
  • Requests for explanation of policies, procedures and decisions.

(f) Grievance

A clear, formal written statement by an individual staff member about another staff member or work related problem.

(g) Anonymous Complaints

We accept anonymous complaints and will carry out an investigation of the issues raised where there is enough information provided.

3. How do I make a complaint?

 If you have a complaint then you can contact us in writing (by letter, fax or email) or by telephone speaking with our Complaints Officer whose contact details are:

 (Probably Sophie)

In order to help us to understand your complaint please tell us:

  • Your full name and contact details
  • What/who you wish to report
  • What the nature of your complaint is
  • What you hope to achieve as a result of your complaint

4. How will you deal with my complaint?

We will promptly acknowledge receipt of complaints.

We will assess and prioritise complaints in accordance with the urgency and/or seriousness of the issues raised. If a matter concerns an immediate risk to safety, safeguarding or security the response will be immediate and escalated appropriately.  

Unless the complaint has been resolved at the outset, we will record the complaint and its supporting information. We will also assign a unique identifier to the complaint file.

The record of the complaint will document:

  • The contact information of the person making a complaint
  • Issues raised by the person making a complaint and the outcome/s they want
  • Any other relevant or important information
  • Any additional support the person making a complaint requires

We will advise people as soon as possible when we are unable to meet our time frames for responding to their complaint and the reason for our delay.

(a) Initial Assessment

After acknowledging receipt of the complaint, we will confirm whether the issue/s raised in the complaint is/are within our control. We will also consider the outcome/s sought by the person making a complaint and, where there is more than one issue raised, determine whether each issue needs to be separately addressed.

When determining how a complaint will be managed, we will consider:

  • How serious, complicated or urgent the complaint is
  • Whether the complaint raises concerns about people’s health and safety
  • How the person making the complaint is being affected
  • The risks involved if resolution of the complaint is delayed, and
  • Whether a resolution requires the involvement of other organisations.

(b) Addressing Complaints

After assessing the complaint, we will consider how to manage it. To manage a complaint we may:

  • Give the person making a complaint information or an explanation
  • Gather information from the product, person or area that the complaint is about, or
  • Investigate the claims made in the complaint.

We will keep the person making the complaint up to date on our progress, particularly if there are any delays. We will also communicate the outcome of the complaint using the most appropriate medium. Which actions we decide to take will be tailored to each case and take into account any statutory requirements.

5. Confidentiality.

We will protect the identity of people making complaints where this is practical and appropriate.

Personal information that identifies individuals will only be disclosed or used by University Jewish Chaplaincy as permitted under the relevant privacy laws, secrecy provisions and any relevant confidentiality obligations.

6. Escalation.

For a complaint that is made about a member of our staff the following escalation procedure is followed;

  • Before any disciplinary procedure begins the facts surrounding the case will be fully investigated, fairly and objectively.
  • Before the start of any stage in the procedure an employee will be told the nature of the complaint against them and no decision will be made without them having been given the opportunity to fully state their case.
  • At all stages of the disciplinary procedure an employee may choose to be accompanied by a work college or trade union employee or official.
  • Unless an employee has committed an act of gross misconduct, they will not usually be dismissed for a first breach of discipline.
  • An employee will have the right to appeal against any disciplinary action that is taken against them.
  • Full written records will be kept of all investigations, interviews and hearings during the disciplinary procedure. The employee will be entitled to copies of any official notes made during the procedure.
  • We will give the employee reasonable notice, as far as is reasonably practicable, to attend any disciplinary hearing and where they are unable to attend at the proposed time, due to legitimate reasons, we will attempt to re-schedule the meeting wherever possible.
  • Following the employees attendance at a disciplinary hearing, they will receive written confirmation of the outcome. This will give details of the complaint, the improvement required and the time scale. It will also advise about the right of appeal and explain how this process works.

7. Staff disciplinary procedure.

There are four stages to our disciplinary procedure:-

Stage 1 – Verbal Warning

  • This is the first stage of the disciplinary procedure and would normally be given for a first incident of unacceptable conduct, work performance or attendance.
  • A record of the verbal warning will be kept on your file for a period of 12 months, but subject to satisfactory improvement will be disregarded after this time.
  • If there is a repetition of the unacceptable conduct or there is no satisfactory improvement, then disciplinary action under the next stage of the procedure will be considered.

Stage 2 – First Written Warning

  • If the offence is of a more serious nature, or there is a failure to improve and your work performance, attendance or conduct is still unsatisfactory, a first written warning will probably be given.
  • A record of the first written warning will be kept on your file for a period of 12 months, but subject to satisfactory improvement, will be disregarded after this time.
  • If there is a repetition of the conduct or there is no satisfactory improvement, then disciplinary action under the next stage will be considered.

Stage 3 – Final Written Warning

  • If an act if misconduct is sufficiently serious, or if there is still a failure to improve and your work performance, conduct or attendance is still unsatisfactory, a final written warning will normally be given.
  • A record of the final written warning will be kept on your personal file for a period of 12 months but subject to satisfactory improvement will be disregarded after this time. In exceptional cases the period may be extended.
  • If you fail to make a satisfactory improvement in your attendance, conduct or work performance, or if there is any repetition of the conduct, this will normally result in your dismissal.

Stage 4 – Dismissal

  • If your attendance, work performance or conduct is still unsatisfactory and you fail to reach the expected standards, dismissal would normally result.
  • In certain circumstances it may be appropriate to consider demotion or transfer, or loss of seniority or salary increment as an alternative sanction.
  • At the time of your dismissal you will be provided with written reasons for the dismissal, the date on which your employment terminates as well as details of your right of appeal.
  • Only in exceptional circumstances, i.e. gross misconduct, would an employee be dismissed on a first breach of discipline.

8. Gross misconduct.

Gross misconduct is an act of misconduct, which is considered serious enough to result in summary dismissal.

Summary dismissal is dismissal without notice or payment in lieu of notice. The following list gives examples of the circumstances, which will be regarded as ‘gross misconduct’:

  • Fraud and deliberate falsification of Chaplaincyrecords or documents.
  • Theft of property belonging to Chaplaincyor its employees, volunteers or trustees.
  • Smoking, eating or drinking in prohibited areas.
  • Violence towards other people or property, or the use of insulting language or behaviour on Chaplaincypremises or any action likely to bring Chaplaincyinto disrepute.
  • Unauthorised use or disclosure of confidential information.
  • Failure to comply with Chaplaincyprocedures in relation to till or other administration, or to the handling of cash, cheques, vouches etc.
  • Falsification of reports, accounts, expense claims or self certification sickness forms.
  • Misappropriation of donors’ contributions.
  • Unauthorised possession of property belonging to either Chaplaincyor to another person.
  • Possession of illegal drugs and/or inability to carry out normal job functions wholly or partly due to the use of illegal drugs or to alcohol.
  • Failure to comply with Chaplaincy’s Health and Safety Policy.
  • Failure to comply with Chaplaincy’s Equal Opportunity Policy.
  • Failure to carry out a reasonable management request.
  • Refusing to allow a search to be carried out in accordance with Chaplaincy
  • Failure to declare correct information on your application form.
  • Conviction for any serious criminal offence whilst an employee of Chaplaincy.
  • Loading non standard external software into the employee’s desktop PC without the express permission of the Line Manager or the Chief Operating Officer.

Please Note: This list is not exhaustive.

9. Providing reasons for decisions.

Following consideration of the complaint and any investigation into the issues raised, we will contact the person making the complaint and advise them:

  • The outcome of the complaint and any action we took
  • The reason/s for our decision
  • The remedy or resolution/s that we have proposed or put in place, and
  • Any options for review that may be available to the complainant, such as an internal review, external review or appeal.

10. Closing the complaint, record keeping, readdress and review.

We will keep comprehensive records about:

  • How we managed the complaint
  • The outcome/s of the complaint (including whether it or any aspect of it was substantiated, any recommendations made to address problems identified and any decisions made on those recommendations, and
  • Any outstanding actions that need to be followed up.

We will ensure that outcomes are properly implemented, monitored and reported to the complaint handling manager and/or senior management.

11. Accountability and Learning

We will ensure that complaints are recorded in a systematic way so that information can be easily retrieved for reporting and analysis.

 Regular reports will be run on:

  • The number of complaints received
  • The outcome of complaints, including matters resolved at the frontline
  • Issues arising from complaints
  • Systemic issues identified, and
  • The number of requests we receive for internal and/or external review of our complaint handling.

Regular analysis of these reports will be undertaken to monitor trends, measure the quality of our customer service and make improvements.

Both reports and their analysis will be provided to University Jewish Chaplaincy’s Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Board of Trustees.