You should review prior complaints by clients, families and staff and ensure your workplace complaints procedure is legally compliant in the lead up to the Disability Royal Commission

The Royal Commission has been charged with investigating violence, abuse and neglect of people with disabilities in Australia. All organisations and service providers need to be open to the reality that clients of their service may have been subject to this kind of treatment while in their care or in previous care or at the hands of their families.

Considering and improving your complaint procedure in the lead up to the Royal Commission is one way in which service providers can be proactive in preparing for the Commission. It demonstrates that you as a provider are engaging with the goals and aims of the Royal Commission.  It is also important to review past complaints to ensure that recent complaints have been handled correctly and finalised.

Best practice in workplace complaints procedure

The Australian Standard, modelled on the International Standard, of complaint handling. These standards of complaint handling focus on customer/ client satisfaction and focus on the following key areas:

The nine principles of the Australian Standards are as follows:

  1. Visibility – is the process and procedure visible to those who may wish to access it;
  2. Accessibility – sufficient flexibility needs to be available, especially in the disability field, support throughout the complaint process
  3. Responsiveness – complaints need to be accepted and acknowledged promptly, complainants need to be kept up to date of the process of the complaint and complaints need to be finalised quickly;
  4. Objectivity – complaint handling should be equitable, objective and unbiased;
  5. Cost – there should be no cost, financial or otherwise, for making a complaint;
  6. Confidentiality – confidentiality is kept absolutely, no disclosures are made without the consent of the complainant and information is used only for the purposes of investigating the complaint;
  7. Customer focused approach – open to feedback and the client’s experience of the complaint process;
  8. Accountability – staff, the organisation and management must be kept accountable to the complaints process and its outcomes;
  9. Continual improvement – improvement and review of the complaints process is ongoing and a core objective of the organisation.

What JFMLAW can do for you

JFMLAW has extensive experience working with disability services and providers. We understand the issues and complexities of this sector and are experts in governance and compliance issues. We can perform an audit of your complaints process and perform a review of recent complaints. We can also provide general advice on compliance and governance in this area.

For any queries about employment and workplace complaints procedures, we at JFMLAW have the answers. Call us on 02 9331 0266