Client conduct policy


The Forces Employment Charity has implemented a conduct policy that strictly prohibits any acts of violence, aggression, or unacceptable behaviour towards anyone associated with the charity. This includes but is not limited to, employees, service providers, clients, mentors, and mentees. The charity is committed to showing that violence or aggression toward any of its connections is unacceptable.

Violence, aggression and unacceptable conduct

Violence and aggression at work can be interpreted as ‘any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work’ or service they are receiving.

Physical assault is ‘the intentional application of force from one person to another, without lawful justification, resulting in physical injury, personal discomfort or damage to property’.

Non-physical assault or verbal aggression is ‘the use of inappropriate words either verbally or in writing (including social media, emails and web chat) or any other behaviour which causes alarm, distress and could be described as harassment’. Persistent unacceptable conduct refers to behaviour within either one contact or several separate contacts over an undefined period.

Examples of unacceptable conduct

We aim to deliver outstanding service in a warm, secure, open environment. To maintain this atmosphere, we ask for everyone’s cooperation. We also recognise the importance of balancing the right to express opinions and views with behaviours that are not acceptable and may negatively impact our staff.

Some examples of unacceptable conduct in these instances might include, but are not limited to:

  • Using any foul, abusive, threatening, intimidating or discriminatory language or behaviour towards members of staff,
  • Harassing and bullying members of staff,
  • Disorderly conduct, which can include, but is not limited to, causing a disturbance, shouting, causing a nuisance to members of staff, clients or anyone who interacts with our service or otherwise hindering the day-to-day business,
  • Recording or photographing people without their permission.
  • Posting comments within our online services that could cause harm to other users, Forces Employment Charity employees, volunteers or the charity’s reputation.
    • Unreasonable demands and vexatious complaints:
    • Amount of information they seek.
    • Nature and scale of service they expect.
    • Volume of correspondence they generate.
    • Time or resources

We accept that persistence is not necessarily a form of unacceptable behaviour. What amounts to unreasonable demands will depend on the circumstances of the complaint and the seriousness of the issues raised. Examples of behaviour that would fall within reasonable demands and vexatious complaints include but are not limited to:

  • Refusing to follow the process set out in our complaints policy.
  • Insisting on seeing or speaking to a particular member of the team when a suitable alternative has been offered.


How we manage unacceptable conduct

Face-to-face contact

Staff members are empowered to ask a client to leave the premises or remove themselves if they feel the client is being aggressive, abusive, or offensive. The person dealing with the client has the right to make this decision.

Telephone calls

The use of abusive and offensive language towards Forces Employment Charity employees, service providers, clients, mentors, and mentees will not be tolerated. They have the right to end any telephone call if they feel the caller is aggressive, intimidating, abusive or offensive.

The individual who receives the call can make decisions. If the caller’s behaviour or language is inappropriate, they will be informed about it politely, and the call will be terminated if it continues. In rare circumstances, if the person in charge cannot warn the caller that the call will end if the unacceptable behaviour or language persists, they have the authority to terminate the call immediately.


The Forces Employment Charity has a zero-tolerance policy towards abusive correspondence, whether it’s via email or letter. If the charity receives any communication that is deemed inappropriate and offensive, it will not process it. The sender will be asked to stop such communication immediately and warned that if they fail to do so, the charity will not respond to any further communication from them.

Online engagement

 If a moderator in any of The Forces Employment Charity’s online channels deems a user’s behaviour unacceptable or unreasonable, appropriate actions may be taken to prevent it from happening again. These actions may include limiting contact, ending contact entirely for a specific period, and reporting incidents to the police.

Appropriate action

The Forces Employment Charity has a zero-tolerance policy towards violence, aggression or vexatious behaviour directed towards its staff, service providers, clients, mentors, and mentees. Any such behaviour will result in appropriate action being taken. If there is any concern about an individual’s conduct that falls out of the scope of this policy. In that case, the staff member, service provider, client, mentor or mentee, or manager must first request the individual modify their conduct in writing.

If the behaviour of a person using our service continues to be a cause for concern after being given an initial warning, the matter will be escalated to the Programme Manager and Head of Compliance. They will then assess whether to continue providing support or to restrict or terminate their access to the services provided by the Forces Employment Charity.

When a person using our service behaves in a hazardous manner, which puts the well-being and safety of our staff, service providers, clients, mentors, and mentees at risk, they may not receive a warning before their access to our services is restricted. However, the Forces Employment Charity will try to provide the individual written confirmation of this decision.

At times, an individual’s behaviour while using our service may cause significant worry, distress, or suspicion that a criminal act might or is about to happen. In such situations, the Forces Employment Charity will assess the risk and consider reporting the matter to the appropriate authorities, including the police. The decision will be based on the need to protect our staff and others from harm or the threat of harm. Our top priority will always be the safety and well-being of everyone involved.

In any of the situations mentioned above, if an individual engages in inappropriate behaviour, they may lose all direct contact with the Forces Employment Charity and be removed from accessing support. If such action is taken, the charity may implement one or more of the following measures (or any other suitable action):

  • Apply a “warning flag” on the electronic record to classify them as using unacceptable conduct
  • Place time limits on telephone calls and contacts
  • Record all telephone calls and contacts
  • Arrange for a named member of staff to deal with all calls or correspondence from the client
  • Limit communication to written only
  • Inform the client that their correspondence will only be read (to ensure no new issues have been raised), acknowledged and filed

Review of policy

This policy is reviewed annually, and amendments will be published on our website.


Sandra Williamson

Head of Compliance

16 January 2024

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