Complaint handling checklist

 

 
  • Act as promptly as possible to investigate any complaint.
  • Try to obtain a signed written complaint, but don’t refuse to act because the complaint is informal. Remember that the evidence substantiating a complaint can be written or verbal, although the best evidence is always written evidence.
  • The parties involved should be informed immediately of the investigation process to be followed. 
  • Confirm the complaint in writing by giving both the person making the complaint and the alleged offender a letter explaining what will happen as a result of the complaint.
  • Any investigation of a complaint should be confidential and objective, with fairness to both sides, and it should follow your company’s anti-discrimination and harassment policy.
  • Proving discrimination or harassment is normally the responsibility of the complainant.
  • Ask the complainant to provide details of their complaint in writing, setting out specific dates, times, conversations and any notes taken.
  • Interview the complainant and take notes using their own words. Have an outline of the complaint plus a step-by-step account. The complainant may have a support person at this interview.
  • Interview the alleged offender and give them ample opportunity to answer allegations.
  • Take notes of their actual words.
  • Make a report with recommendations which are agreed on by senior management (who may be liable for the actions of their employees).
  • Inform both parties of the decisions made and the reasons for the decisions.
  • Reinforce existing policies and/or implement changes immediately to prevent the incident recurring.
  • The questions you ask, and a fair investigation process in general, are crucial. An impartial party is often needed to achieve this goal. AFEI can conduct part or all of the investigation for you at a very reasonable cost.