Policies

Complaints
Policy

At The HelpLine we are committed to provide an excellent high quality confidential and  anonymous HelpLine supporting individuals from the Jewish Community facing challenges.  It’s important that we know about any problems so we can deal with them quickly and  effectively. 

If you have a complaint about us, or something we’ve done, we aim to resolve it as quickly  and efficiently as possible in a personal, fair and confidential way. 

We regard complaints as an opportunity to reflect on our practice and processes to see if there  are ways we can strengthen and improve them. This policy details how we handle complaints  to make sure we learn from a negative experience and that we are open about the  improvements we have made as a result. 

What this policy covers 

This policy covers complaints about the services that we provide, and about the staff and  volunteers involved in delivering them. Complaints regarding discrimination and  victimisation will also be investigated using this process. 

Wherever possible we will try to resolve complaints made without the intervention of  external bodies. If that’s not possible after going through all stages of this procedure, we will  seek intervention from an appropriate external body. 

Our objectives when handling a complaint 

We aim to ensure that: 

  1. Making a complaint is as easy and transparent as possible. 
  2. We treat a complaint as an expression of dissatisfaction with our service, or  organisation, which calls for a response. 
  3. We deal with complaints appropriately, respectfully, and within the agreed timeframe. 4. We respond in the right way – for example, with an explanation, an apology where we  have got things wrong, and, if relevant and appropriate, information on any action  taken. 
  4. People who are mentioned in or affected by complaints receive support. 6. When a complaint identifies that something has gone wrong or has fallen below  standards, it is seen as an opportunity to improve and avoid a recurrence, and it allows  for systems, policies, practices or procedures to be amended or put in place as  appropriate. 
  5. We offer complainants recourse to someone more senior/more independent if they  wish. 

We reserve the right to refuse a complaint that is clearly vexatious, malicious, motivated by  anti-Semitic, racist, sexist, homophobic or other discriminatory attitudes, or if the  complainant threatens or abuses our staff or volunteers.

We will consider a complainant as vexatious if they persist in making a complaint or demand  when all reasonable attempts to resolve their concerns have been made. 

What to do if you want to complain 

Complaints can be made by e-mail to info@theHelpLine.org.uk or 

complaints@theHelpLine.org.uk

We can’t accept complaints by text or via social media, as these don’t allow for sufficient  detail to be submitted. Please e-mail your complaint as described above. 

We will acknowledge all complaints in writing within three working days of receipt. We will  allocate an ID number and review the complaint to consider what investigation is needed and  who is the appropriate person to lead on the investigation and response. 

Investigating your complaint 

When investigating your complaint, we will ensure that: 

  • We fully understand the complaint. This may require collecting more information  from you. 
  • We fully understand the response of staff or the situation in which the complaint  arose. This may involve interviewing or speaking to staff and volunteers or reviewing  any written information. We do not record calls, so that is not a way we can  investigate complaints or have any way to link any records to an individual. Similarly, we do not have access to callers’ actual telephone numbers.  
  • We treat you fairly, consistently, and transparently, and offer solutions, explanations,  and an apology where appropriate. 
  • We respect confidentiality where appropriate. 

As a result of the investigation, and if the complaint is upheld, outcomes may include: 

  • Specific changes or improvements to service. 
  • Bringing together parties to mediate the dispute. 
  • Recommendations on staff training. 

Managers will produce an implementation plan for any improvements identified as a result of  the complaint, and actions identified should be implemented within a reasonable timeframe,  outlined in the response. 

Responding to your complaint 

After investigation we’ll send you a full response in writing. In some cases, you might prefer  a telephone discussion regarding the outcome, but this will always be followed up by a  written response, so there’s a written record of the outcome. 

Timescale 

We aim to provide a full response within 14 working days in most cases. However, if this is  not possible because, for example, a detailed investigation is required, we will provide an 

interim reply explaining what is being done to deal with the complaint and with a revised  timetable. 

If you’re not happy with the response 

If you’re not satisfied with the response, you receive you may appeal the decision within  seven days by emailing the person who dealt with the initial complaint. We will review the  appeal and respond in writing within 14 working days. 

If you’re not happy with the response to your appeal, you may escalate your complaint within  seven calendar days by writing to the person who dealt with the appeal. The escalation will  be reviewed by a senior member of staff, who will provide a further written response within  15 working days. 

If you’re still not happy, you can refer your complaint to an appropriate external body for  consideration. 

Time limits on making a complaint 

Normally complaints should be made within three months of the event, or within three months of becoming aware of cause to complain, subject to an overall limit of 6 months. 

If we need to ask for further information to assist with our investigation but receive no  response and cannot proceed with the investigation, we will chase for a response every 14 days and consider the complaint closed if there’s no response within thirty working days. 

Exceptions to this may be allowed, taking into account reasons for the delay and the  practicality of investigating the matter. 

May 2023