Policy 108 Managing Complaints and Grievances

POLICY STATEMENT
Rainbow Club Australia is committed to ensuring that any person or organisation using Rainbow Club Australia services or affected by its operations has the right to lodge a complaint or to appeal a decision of the organisation and to have their concerns addressed in ways that ensure access and equity, fairness, accountability and transparency.
The organisation will provide a complaints and appeals management procedure that:
• is simple and easy to use
• is effectively communicated and promoted to all clients and stakeholders
• ensures complaints or appeals are fairly assessed and responded to promptly
• is procedurally fair and follows principles of natural justice
• complies with legislative requirements.

PRINCIPLES
Rainbow Club Australia will:
• consider all complaints it receives
• treat all complainants with respect, recognising that the issue of complaint is important to the complainant
• maintain confidentiality of parties involved, keeping any information private to those directly involved in the complaint and its resolution
• ensure advocacy is available to clients who make a complaint and require support
• ensure that cultural and linguistic needs are supported
• resolve complaints, where possible, to the satisfaction of the complainant
• deal with all complaints in a timely manner
• keep parties to the complaint informed of progress of the complaint
• ensure that Board, Administration Staff, Club Management, Instructors, and Volunteers are given information about the complaints procedure as part of their induction and are aware of procedures for managing client feedback and complaints.
• ensure all Members are aware of the complaints policy and procedures
• ensure that a complainant is not penalised in any way or prevented from use of services during the progress of an issue.
• ensure that feedback data (both positive and negative) is considered in organisational reviews and in planning service improvements.

PROCEDURES
Information for Members, staff, instructors and other stakeholders
Rainbow Club Australia complaints and appeals procedure will be documented for members and stakeholders in the Club Manual which is made available on our website.
All our clubs are run by volunteers and we ask all parents to respect their commitment and time. In the event that you have a complaint this should be made, in the first instance, to a member of the Club Management Committee.

In the event the Club’s Management Committee is unable to resolve your issue or your complaint is about the Club Management Committee or one of its members, you should contact the General Manager of Rainbow Club (info@rainbowclubaust.com.au ) and advise them of the nature of the complaint with details of dates and times as appropriate. The General Manager of Rainbow Club will respond to complaints within seven (7) working days.

Should you wish to raise the matter further, you should contact the President of Rainbow Club Australia or any member of the Rainbow Club Australia Board (see website for details).

Should the President or other Board Member deem it necessary to bring the matter to the Board, the following should apply.

Where the Rainbow Club Board is of the opinion that a Club, Club Member or Member of Staff:

(a) has persistently refused or neglected to comply with a provision or provisions of these rules; or
(b) has persistently and wilfully acted in a manner prejudicial to the interests of Rainbow Club,

The Board may, by resolution:

(c) expel the Club or Club Member; or
(d) suspend the Club or Club Member from membership of the Association for a specified period
(e) take appropriate disciplinary action regarding a Member of Staff.

If the Board passes a resolution to take action, the Secretary shall, as soon as practicable, cause a notice in writing to be served on the Club, Club Member or Member of Staff:

(a) setting out the resolution of the Board and the grounds on which it is based;
(b) stating that the Club representative , Club Member or Member of Staff may address the Committee at a meeting to be held not earlier than 14 days and not later than 28 days after service of the notice;
(c) stating the date, place and time of that meeting; and
(d) informing the Club, Club Member or Member of Staff that they may do either or both of the following:
(i) attend and speak at that meeting or appoint a representative or representatives to attend and speak at that meeting;
(ii) submit to the Board at or prior to the date of that meeting written representations relating to the resolution.

At a meeting of the Board, it shall:

(a) give to the Member or the Member’s representative(s) an opportunity to make oral representations;
(b) give due consideration to any written representations submitted to the Board by the Member at or prior to the meeting; and
(c) by resolution, determine whether to confirm or to revoke the resolution.

Where the Board confirms a resolution, the Secretary shall, within 7 days after that confirmation, by notice in writing inform the Club, Club Member or Member of Staff of the fact and of the Member’s right of appeal.

A resolution confirmed by the Board does not take effect:

(a) until the expiration of the period within which the Club, Club Member or Member of Staff is entitled to appeal against the resolution where the Club, Club Member or Member of Staff does not exercise the right of appeal within that period; or
(b) where within that period the Club, Club Member or Member of Staff exercises the right of appeal.

Upon expulsion of a Club that is a Rainbow Club, the Club Charter is automatically cancelled. The Charter must be returned and all right to use the name “Rainbow” and any insignia of the Association will be automatically surrendered.

If the allegation involves a criminal offence, it must be referred to the Police and Board notified.

Right of Appeal of Disciplined Member

A Club, Club Member or Member of Staff may appeal to the Association in general meeting against a resolution of the Board within seven days after notice of the resolution is served on the Club, Club Member or Member of Staff, by lodging with the Secretary a notice to that effect.

Upon receipt of a notice from a Club, Club Member or Member of Staff, the Secretary shall notify the Board which shall convene a general meeting of the Association to be held within 21 days after the date on which the Secretary received the notice.

At a general meeting of the Association:
(a) no business other than the question of the appeal shall be transacted;
(b) the Board and the Club, Club Member or Member of Staff shall be given the opportunity to state their respective cases orally or in writing, or both; and
(c) the Members present shall vote by secret ballot on the question of whether the resolution should be confirmed or revoked.

If at the general meeting the Association passes a special resolution in favour of the confirmation of the resolution, the resolution is confirmed.

Right of Appeal to an External Body

If the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome or process of the internal complaints procedure, a formal external complaints procedure may follow. The complainant will be referred to the NSW Ombudsman – Disability Services.

Record keeping
The General Manger will maintain a Complaints Register, and will record the following for each complaint or appeal:
• Details of the complainant and the nature of the complaint
• Date lodged
• Action taken
• Date of resolution and reason for decision
• Indication of complainant being notified of outcome
• Complainant response and any further action

Copies of all correspondence will be kept with the Register. The complaints register and files will be confidential and access is restricted to General Manager and/or President.
All clients will be informed of their rights and responsibilities with regards to complaints and appeals at the earliest possible stage of their involvement with the organisation. This Managing Complaints Policy will be available to be viewed on the Website and in the Club Manual.

DOCUMENTATION
Documents related to this policy
Related policies
P107 Member Feedback

Forms, record keeping or other organisational documents
Club Charter
Club Manual
Website
Welcome Letter to New Parents
Welcome Letter to Instructors and New Staff