Making a Complaint

 

Policy Statement

The Humanitarian Group is committed to ensuring that any person or organisation using The Humanitarian Group’s services or affected by its operations has the right to lodge a complaint or to appeal a decision of the organisation and to have their concerns addressed in ways that ensure access and equity, fairness, accountability and transparency.

The organisation will provide a complaints management procedure that:

  • is simple and easy to use
  • is effectively communicated and promoted to all clients and stakeholders
  • ensures complaints are fairly assessed and responded to promptly
  • is procedurally fair and follows principles of natural justice
  • complies with legislative requirements.

The Humanitarian Group will:

  • consider all complaints it receives;
  • treat all complainants with respect, recognising that the issue of complaint is important to the complainant;
  • maintain confidentiality of parties involved, keeping any information private to those directly involved in the complaint and its resolution;
  • ensure advocacy is available to clients who make a complaint and require support;
  • resolve complaints, where possible, to the satisfaction of the complainant;
  • deal with all complaints in a timely manner;
  • keep parties to the complaint informed of progress of the complaint;
  • ensure that Board members, staff, volunteers and contractors are given information about the complaints procedure as part of their induction and are aware of procedures for managing client feedback and complaints;
  • ensure all service users, stakeholders and members are aware of the complaints policy and procedures;
  • ensure that a complainant is not penalised in any way or prevented from use of services during the progress of an issue; and
  • ensure that feedback data (both positive and negative) is considered in organisational reviews and in planning service improvements.

 

Information for Clients and Stakeholders

The Humanitarian Group’s complaints policy and procedure document will be available for clients and stakeholders via an electronic copy on The Humanitarian Group’s website. It will contain information on the following:

  • how to make a complaint;
  • the contact person for lodging a complaint;
  • how the organisation will deal with the complaint, including the steps involved and the timelines;
  • the rights of the complainant to an advocate, support person or interpreter;
  • how the person will be informed about the outcome of their complaint; and
  • how to make a complaint to an external body including contact details.

All clients will be informed of their rights and responsibilities with regards to complaints at the earliest possible stage of their involvement with the organisation.

 

Making a Complaint

A person wishing to make a complaint may do so in writing or verbally to:

  • the staff member they were dealing with at the time;
  • the supervisor of that staff member;
  • the Executive Manager or Principal Solicitor;
  • the Chairperson; or
  • the Office for Migration Agent Registration Authority or the Legal Practice Complaints Committee (as applicable).

If the complaint is about:

  • a staff member: the complaint will normally be dealt with by the Executive Manager. If the complaint relates to the provision of migration and legal services, the Executive Manager will consult with the Principal Solicitor in relation to that part of the complaint.
  • the Executive Manager or Principal Solicitor: the complaint will normally be dealt with by the Chairperson of the Board.

Written complaints may be sent by post or email to the contact details on The Humanitarian Group’s website. The Executive Manager will be responsible for receiving this correspondence and directing it to the appropriate person.

 

Procedure for Complaints Management

The person managing the complaint will be responsible for:

 

1. Processing the complaint

  • recording the complaint in the Complaints Register; and
  • informing the complainant that their complaint has been received and providing them with information about the process and time frame.

 

 

2. Investigating and resolving the complaint

  • examining the complaint within 5 working days of the complaint being received;
  • investigating the complaint and deciding how to respond; and
  • informing the complainant by letter within 10 working days of the complaint being received of what is being done to investigate and resolve it, and the expected time frame for resolution.

As far as possible, complaints or appeals will be investigated and resolved within 20 working days of being received. If this time frame cannot be met, the complainant will be informed of the reasons why and of the alternative time frame for resolution.

 

3. Reviewing the resolution of the complaint

If the complainant is not satisfied with the investigation and proposed resolution of their complaint they can seek a further review of the matter by:

 

Record Keeping

The Executive Manager will maintain a register of complaints. The Register will record the following for each complaint:

  • details of the complainant and the nature of the complaint;
  • date lodged;
  • action taken;
  • date of resolution and reason for decision;
  • indication of complainant being notified of outcome; and
  • complainant response and any further action.

The complaints register and files will be confidential and access is restricted to Executive Manager, Principal Solicitor and the Board.

 

Note: Staff refers to all employees, volunteers and contractors, unless otherwise indicated.