Purpose and Objectives:

The objective of this procedure is to ensure complaints and grievances are resolved by negotiation through procedural fairness and discussions between the parties are conducted in a respectful, confidential manner.

Right Sounds  is committed to the maintenance of good working relationships with its clients, employees and contractors, and between employees and contractors in the workplace. It is, however, recognised that from time to time a client, an employee or a contractor may have a grievance which needs to be resolved in the interests of good relationships. The procedures described in this document are designed to assist parties involved with a complaint or grievance in maintaining good working relationships and also in resolving any conflicts or issues which arise that have a negative impact on client or working relationships. The procedures for dealing with grievances have the following objectives:

  • To provide all parties with the opportunity to have their concerns addressed in relation to any alleged incidents of unlawful discrimination, harassment or other offensive behaviour in a fair, equitable and prompt manner.
  • To achieve constructive outcomes for conflict situations in the Practice.
  • To ensure all parties have equal access to the procedures.
  • To ensure complaints and grievances are resolved with minimum stress to all concerned.
  • To ensure that confidentiality is maintained.
  • To have a strong emphasis on problem solving.
  • To consider and pursue alternative outcomes where appropriate.

Application, Steps and Process

  • In the first instance, the person making the complaint are encouraged to seek resolution of the grievance informally between the immediate parties concerned. A simple apology may finalise the matter at that point.
  • If a complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of step one (1), or is not comfortable completing step one (1), complainants are encouraged to complete step three.
  • The party making the complaint or has a grievance shall inform a Director of the nature of the complaint/grievance. The Director shall establish a clear understanding of what the party making the grievance is wanting as an outcome, and then attempt to resolve the issue between the parties by interviewing each party to the grievance separately, and then if appropriate, have a meeting with all of the parties in an attempt to resolve the grievance. The Director handling the grievance is to document the substance of any meetings held, and document the process undertaken.
  • If the complainant feels that resolution has not occurred, they are required to advise a Director accordingly. The Directors may refer the matter for professional external mediation, and if still unresolved, the matter may be referred to the Australian Commercial Disputes Centre (ACDC) or Fair Work Commission for resolution.
  • Steps 1 – 4 should wherever possible be occur within seven (7) working days.
  • Where a Director is a party to the grievance or dispute, then that person will not be involved in the process as a conciliator or arbitrator.

Note:

  • All parties must co-operate to ensure that these procedures are carried out as quickly as reasonably possible.
  • Work must continue as normal whilst the complaint or grievance is being resolved through these procedures, unless he or she has a reasonable concern about an imminent risk to his or her health or safety. Where the grievance involves an employee or contractor, that employee/contractor must comply with a direction given by Right Sounds  to perform other available work at the same workplace, or at another workplace, unless the work is not safe, applicable work health and safety legislation would not permit the work to be performed, the work is not appropriate for the employee or contractor to perform, or there are other reasonable grounds for the employee or contractor to refuse to comply with the direction.
  • Legitimate attempts to resolve the problem must be made at each level by all parties at Right Sounds and referrals to an external body should be regarded as a last resort.

Responsibilities

The Directors are responsible for:

  • Managing complaints/grievances in a timely, respectful and private manner.
  • Engaging in external professional meditation where appropriate.
  • Ensuring this policy and procedure is understood by clients, staff and contractors
  • Adherence to the process detailed above.
  • Providing the process in a timely, respectful, private and confidential manner, where procedural fairness applies.
  • Supporting all parties appropriately through this process.

Employees or contractors are responsible for:

  • Raising any grievance matter in a timely manner to avoid undue escalation of issues.
  • Adhering to this policy and procedure.
  • Aligning behaviour to the Speech Pathology Australia Code of Ethics (2010).

Clients need to raise their concerns at the earliest possible time in order for the matter to  be resolved quickly, and client service and treatment can proceed.Overall, Right Sounds requires parties keep matters raised as being confidential.