EXTERNAL COMPLAINTS POLICY AND PROCEDURE
We are committed to demonstrating respect, inclusion and transparency in all our activities. The perspectives of older Londoners, their best interests and ethical behaviour are at the heart of all activity.
We never underestimate what older Londoners can achieve and we aim to work with others that share these principles.
This policy is aimed at people and organisations who come into contact with Age UK London, Age UK City of London, or any subsidiary of either charity (together these companies are referred to as “the Group”) in the work that the Group does, campaigning for older Londoners, working on their behalf, and championing their cause. We refer to these people in this policy as our “external stakeholders”.
But despite these commitments, we recognise that there may be occasions when external stakeholders are disappointed by how we have performed or where they want to make a complaint. This policy explains how we will deal with this.
This policy is not aimed at members of staff or volunteers (our “internal stakeholders”). Our internal stakeholders should refer to our grievance policy for details of how to make raise a concern about their working/volunteering.
The following procedure is for external stakeholders to follow if they wish to raise a concern or make a complaint about activities that have been undertaken by any member of the Group.
1. External Complaints Procedure
1.1. If, as an external stakeholder, you wish to make a complaint you should do so by sending an email to the Chief Executive at the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
1.2. If it is difficult for you to send an email, complaints can be made in writing to our address as follows: 7th Floor, Tavis House, 1-6 Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9NA, marked for the attention of the Chief Executive.
1.3. The email or letter should set out the following:
1.3.1. Your name, if the complaint is personal; or the name of your organisation if the complaint is by an organisation; if you are writing on behalf of your organisation, please confirm that you are authorised by that organisation to raise the complaint on their behalf.
1.3.2. Brief details about the circumstances giving rise to your complaint (the subject matter, the dates of relevant events, who was involved);
1.3.3. Brief details of the outcome that you would like to see to resolve your complaint.
1.3.4. Your contact details.
1.4. If the complaint is about the Chief Executive, please make your complaint by letter marked for the attention of the Chair of the Trustees of Age UK London at the above address.
1.5. The Chief Executive (or Chair as appropriate) will ensure every effort is made to resolve matters informally through dialogue.
1.6. If matters cannot be resolved through dialogue, Chief Executive (or Chair as appropriate) will write to you to confirm that he or she will undertake a formal investigation and will respond to you following that investigation as soon as possible. In most cases we would not expect any investigation and response to take longer than 15 working days, but if there are reasons why we cannot complete this part of the process in 15 working days, we will let you know
1.7. If you are dissatisfied by the written response you receive, you should write to the Chief Executive (or Chair, as appropriate) within 15 working days of getting the response. You should explain why you are dissatisfied by the response and ask for it to be referred to a committee of trustees who have not previously been involved in the complaint (the “Complaints Panel”).
1.8. The Complaints Panel will meet as soon as is practical to review the paperwork and give you the opportunity to present your case in person. The decision of the Complaints Panel will be given in writing within 10 working days of the conclusion of the review by the Panel. Their decision is final.
1.9. In dealing with complaints, the following principles will apply:
1.9.1. If you need assistance to bring your complaint, for example signing or an interpreter, the Group will take reasonable steps to provide this assistance or to adjust the process to accommodate your needs.
1.9.2. Complaints will be handled with sensitivity and due regard to confidentiality; but we may need to disclose details of your complaint either to members of staff or to any advisor or regulator of any member of the Group in order to investigate and respond to your complaint or to comply with our duties to our regulators.
1.9.3. If there is a delay in the process we will keep you informed.
2. Complaints about other Organisations
2.1. Sometimes, complaints are made to Age UK London about another organisation that is not part of our Group.
2.2. In such cases, we will explain this to you and will do our best to direct you to the correct channels though which to bring such a complaint.
2.3. However, it will not generally be appropriate for us to become involved in complaints between you and a third party.
3. Follow up
3.1. If an external complaint is upheld, Age UK London will take the appropriate corrective action to ensure higher standards in future.
3.2. All complaints will be recorded and reviewed periodically by the Board of Trustees.
4. Promotion of the Policy and Procedure
4.1. A copy of this policy and procedure will be made available on our website.