The Forces Employment Charity strives for high standards in service delivery and welcomes feedback from individuals, users of our services, stakeholders, funding bodies and anyone who works with us, on all aspects of our services. Such feedback is invaluable in helping us evaluate and improve our work.
The objectives of the Forces Employment Charity complaints policy and procedures are to:
• Ensure everyone knows how to make a complaint and how a complaint will be handled
• Ensure that complaints are dealt with consistently, fairly, and sensitively within clear time frames
• Provide individuals with a fair and effective way to complain about our work
• Ensure that complaints are monitored to improve our services
The Forces Employment Charity will ensure that we:
• Listen carefully to complaints and treat complaints as confidential, where possible
• Record, store and manage all complaints accurately and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018
• Investigate the complaint fully, objectively and within the stated time frame
• Notify the complainant of the results of the investigation and any right of appeal
• Inform the complainant of any action that will be implemented to ensure that there is no re-occurrence
• Report on an annual basis, the number of complaints received, the outcomes and any actions taken.
2. Definition of a Complaint
A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction by an individual, whether justified or not.
An individual may make a complaint if they feel the Forces Employment Charity has:
• Failed to provide a service or an acceptable standard of service
• Made a mistake in the way the service was provided
• Failed to act in a proper way
• Provided an unfair service
This policy relates only to complaints received about the Forces Employment Charity and its services.
This Complaints Policy is for external complaints, from clients, supporters, partners, or the general public. For internal issues, use the HR Staff Grievance Policy.
3. Concern or Complaint
It is important to establish the difference between a concern and a complaint. Taking informal concerns seriously at the earliest stage will reduce the likelihood of their developing into formal complaints.
If you have any concerns about our work, please tell a Forces Employment Charity employee or their manager as soon as possible, so they can quickly understand your concerns and try to put things right.
If you are not happy with the response to your concern and/or you want to make a formal complaint, please follow the procedure below.
4. Complaints Procedure
The Forces Employment Charity aims to settle many complaints quickly and satisfactorily by the member of staff who provides the service. The complaint may be resolved quickly by way of an apology or by an acceptable explanation to the individual.
There are two stages to the complaint’s procedure:
• Stage One – The Complaint
• Stage Two – Investigation
5. Stage One – The Complaint
Complaints can be made in the following ways:
• By calling our Forces Employment Support Team on 0121 236 0058,
• E-mailing [email protected],
• Writing to Sandra Williamson, Head of Compliance, Forces Employment Charity, Mountbarrow House, 12 Elizabeth Street, London SW1W 9RB, or Submitting the Complaints form on our website www.forcesemployment.org.uk
All complaints however they are received should be submitted to Sandra Williamson, Head of Compliance.
All complaints will be allocated a Complaint Reference Number and will be recorded in a Folder in a Complaints Team Channel in Microsoft Teams. Only members of the Senior Leadership Team have access to the Complaints Team Channel. The Folder will be named with the Complaints Reference Number.
Once the complaint has been recorded, we will acknowledge receipt of the complaint to the individual making the complaint within two working days of the complaint being received.
6. Stage Two – Investigation
An investigation will be launched within two working days of receiving the complaint. The Forces Employment Charity Senior Management Team will request information internally from staff and from systems to understand the circumstances around the complaint.
Information may also be requested from external sources such as individuals in partner organisations.
We will treat the complaint with sensitivity, discretion and understanding and conduct our investigation accordingly.
The Head of Compliance will aim to complete the investigation within five working days of receipt of the complaint and will determine and implement remedial action where appropriate. The Compliance Team will respond to the individual making the complaint and let them know the outcome of the investigation and the action taken.
If the investigation will take longer than 5 working days, we will inform the individual making the complaint with an estimate of the length of time that the investigation will need. We will then respond and resolve as above.
Once the investigation is complete, the resolution determined and the individual who has received the complaint has received the response, the complaint will be closed. All associated documentation recorded in the Complaint Reference Folder within the Complaint Team on Microsoft Teams.
7. Data Protection
To process a complaint the Forces Employment Charity will hold personal data about the complainant, which the individual provides, and which other people give in response to the complaint. The Forces Employment Charity will hold this data securely and only use it to address the complaint. The identity of the person making the complaint will only be known to those who need to consider the complaint and will not be revealed to other people or made public by the Forces Employment Charity. However, it may not be possible to preserve confidentiality in some circumstances, for example, where relevant legislation applied, or allegations are made which involve the conduct of third parties.
The Forces Employment Charity will normally destroy complaints files in a secure manner six years after the complaint has been closed.
This policy is reviewed on an annual basis.
Last updated: 13th October 2022