Dispute and Resolution

Disputes Policy

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Complaint Procedures

It is the Business’s policy that all staff are responsible for maintaining a workplace free of inappropriate behaviour, discrimination, harassment, bullying and victimisation and for reporting any violations of these policies. If you believe that you, or other staff, have been or are the subject of inappropriate behaviour, bullying, discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment, you should promptly report the concern so that it may be properly addressed. If appropriate, you should report the concern to your immediate manager. If this is not appropriate because the situation involves your immediate manager, then you should report the incident to the next level of management. It is never necessary for an employee to speak directly to the person who is the subject of the complaint.



Disputes, Complaints and Grievances

Should an employee be unable to resolve a dispute, complaint or grievance in the manner referred to in Clause 1 then the dispute, complaint or grievance should be dealt with as set out below.

Reporting a dispute, complaint or grievance

If you have a dispute, complaint or grievance or witness an incident or incidents that could give rise to a dispute, complaint or grievance you should refer the matter to your immediate manager. If this is not appropriate because the situation involves your immediate manager, then you should report the incident to the next level of management, or General Manager, Jade, who will be responsible for investigating the matter and taking appropriate action.


You may bring a support person with you when you initially report a dispute, complaint or grievance to the Disputes and Grievances Officer provided that the support person did not witness the incident or incidents that gave rise to the dispute, complaint or grievance being made. A witness may need to be interviewed by the Disputes and Grievances Officer as part of their investigation of the dispute, complaint or grievance.


Any dispute, complaint or grievance will be treated in strict confidence by the Disputes and Grievances Officer who will act impartially in undertaking his/her responsibilities in that position.

The Disputes and Grievances Officer will:

  • document the dispute, complaint or grievance based on the information and material made available to them;
  • confirm with you the accuracy of the document;
  • outline the processes available to the Business to resolve the dispute, complaint or grievance;
  • seek your agreement to the appropriate process to be adopted in the circumstances;
  • estimate the time to complete the process and resolve the dispute, complaint or grievance.

The following processes are available to the Business to resolve a dispute, complaint or grievance:

  • no further action – after speaking to the Disputes and Grievances Officer you may decide that no further action is necessary in the circumstances;
  • informal measures – set out below; and
  • formal measures – set out below.



Informal measures

You may advise the Disputes and Grievances Officer that your dispute, complaint or grievance should be resolved informally. For example, where you do not consider the behaviour or incident that gave rise to your reporting the dispute, complaint or grievance is serious, but would like it to cease, and for the staff member who is the subject of the dispute, complaint or grievance to be notified.


The following are ways that a dispute, complaint or grievance can be dealt with informally:

  • you may speak to the other person directly and notify them that the relevant incident or their behaviour was inappropriate;
  • the Disputes and Grievances Officer may speak to the other person on your behalf to convey your concerns regarding the relevant incident or their behaviour;
  • the Disputes and Grievances Officer may speak to the other person, notify them that you have reported a dispute, complaint or grievance and invite them to participate in a meeting with you (if you are the person who was involved in the relevant incident or against whom the behaviour was directed), your support person (if you wish) and the Disputes and Grievances Officer to mediate the dispute, complaint or grievance; or
  • the other person’s manager or supervisor may speak to them and remind them of their obligations under the Business’s policies.


If you wish to attempt to resolve your dispute, complaint or grievance informally then the Disputes and Grievances Officer will:

  • document that you have reported a dispute, complaint or grievance, provided that you give the Disputes and Grievances Officer your consent to do so;
  • only document the name of the other person who is the subject of the dispute, complaint or grievance in circumstances where the person admits the relevant incident or behaviour; or
  • not document the name of the person who is the subject of the dispute, complaint or grievance if the person does not admit the relevant incident or behaviour and the matter is not investigated.


The dispute, complaint or grievance may be resolved after any one or more of these informal measures are completed. If so, no further action will be taken by the Business.

If the dispute, complaint or grievance is not resolved through informal measures you may request that the Disputes and Grievances Officer deal with the matter through formal measures.



Formal measures

Where formal measures are appropriate

Formal measures will generally be appropriate in circumstances where:

  • a dispute, complaint or grievance could not be resolved by informal measures;
  • you advise the Disputes and Grievances Officer that it would be inappropriate to resolve your dispute, complaint or grievance informally and would like the matter dealt with formally;
  • the dispute, complaint or grievance involves a senior employee;
  • the Disputes and Grievances Officer must investigate the dispute, complaint or grievance in order to substantiate it; or
  • another Business policy applies and requires the matter to be investigated or dealt with formally.


Investigation

If a dispute, complaint or grievance is to be dealt with formally, the dispute, complaint or grievance must first be investigated by the Disputes and Grievances Officer who will:

  • investigate the dispute, complaint or grievance in accordance with the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness;
  • interview the person in relation to whom the dispute, complaint or grievance has been reported;
  • allow the person to have a support person present at the interview;
  • notify the person of the particulars of the dispute, complaint or grievance and that an investigation will be undertaken;
  • give the person the opportunity to respond to the dispute, complaint or grievance;
  • outline the process, estimate the time to complete the process and resolve the dispute, complaint or grievance and explain the possible outcomes of the process;
  • interview any witnesses;
  • document all interviews and include as much detail as possible (including dates, times, locations and exact words wherever possible); and
  • give any person interviewed the opportunity to review, amend and endorse any documentation of their interview.


Result of investigation

After completing the investigation the Disputes and Grievances Officer may determine that the dispute, complaint or grievance is either substantiated or unsubstantiated.


If the dispute, complaint or grievance is substantiated the Disputes and Grievances Officer will:

  • prepare a report which documents the investigation process, evidence considered from the interview process, findings and proposed steps to be taken;
  • inform both parties of the findings/decision and the reasons for the findings/decision;
  • implement the steps to resolve the dispute, complaint or grievance and prevent the behaviour or incident from recurring; and
  • review the matter at a nominated date in the future.

Steps that may be taken include:

  • private/public written/verbal apology;
  • verbal/written warning;
  • re-crediting any leave taken at any time by a person as a result of the behaviour or incident that is the subject of the dispute, complaint or grievance;
  • payment or reimbursement of medical and other fees by a person as a result of the behaviour or incident that is the subject of the dispute, complaint or grievance;
  • disciplinary action against the person or persons who engaged in the behaviour or caused the incident that gave rise to the dispute, complaint or grievance;
  • transfer;
  • suspension;
  • probation;
  • dismissal;
  • appropriate notation on, or removal of comments from, a person’s personnel file; and/or
  • conciliation/mediation with an impartial third party to resolve the dispute, complaint or grievance.


If the dispute, complaint or grievance is not substantiated the Disputes and Grievances Officer should explain the reasons for this conclusion to the person who reported the dispute, complaint or grievance. A dispute, complaint or grievance may not be substantiated if there is insufficient evidence to support the dispute, complaint or grievance.

If there is evidence that the dispute, complaint or grievance was vexatious or malicious:

  • the Disputes and Grievances Officer may determine that the person who reported the dispute, complaint or grievance should be subject to disciplinary action; and/or
  • the person who reported the dispute, complaint or grievance may risk an action being commenced against them in defamation (i.e. where the person who reported the dispute, complaint or grievance publishes or makes a statement about another person that lowers their reputation or leads other people to avoid or shun that person).



Thank You,

BrandBookie