7.16 Grievance/Dispute Resolution Policy and Procedures



Definition:

A grievance is any concern, complaint or dispute raised by a Client, Staff member, Volunteer, or Committee Member of Therapeutic Dog Services concerning an incident, judgment, situation, problem or treatment that may impact on the Staff, Volunteers or Committee Members whilst at work.

Policy:

Therapeutic Dog Services is a community organisation and it is hoped that all disputes can be solved through discussion with concerned parties. An efficient, successful operation and satisfied members go hand in hand. Disputes are of concern to Therapeutic Dog Services regardless of whether the problems are large or small. It is therefore advisable that all disputes are dealt with in a timely fashion.

It is the policy to resolve any grievances as soon as possible through ongoing consultation, cooperation, and discussion in a mutually respectful manner. All grievances will be treated seriously and confidentially. A formal procedure for resolving grievances and to enhance a positive, harmonious, non- judgmental atmosphere for the functioning of the organisation is followed.

Skills and duties for all members voluntary positions are to be listed in a volunteer position description, if a supervising Staff member feels that their volunteer is not able to fulfill the duties in the position description adequately, their Supervisor is to be notified and either a new position that is more suitable, is to be written by the Supervisor, or a different position to be found for that volunteer. The volunteer has the option of going through the Dispute Resolution Procedure if they feel they are being treated unfairly and have been in that position for more than three months.

Procedures:

In the event of a grievance, we promote a proactive and common-sense approach to promptly dealing with the issue and will generally act in accordance with the following:

a. The grievance and the process of resolving the grievance, to the extent it is practical, is to be kept confidential.

b. When necessary, a grievance will be investigated by Therapeutic Dog Services Management or Board.

c. Where a grievance is investigated, both sides to the grievance will be heard and will be given an opportunity to respond to the comments made by the other side.

d. Those involved in assisting in the resolution of the grievance must be impartial and have no personal interest, actual or potential, in an outcome.

e. Once an investigation has been completed, any conclusions reached are to be supported by factual written evidence. We will take whatever action it considers appropriate, including disciplining or dismissing a staff member.

f. In the event an investigation finds a grievance is unsubstantiated, all relevant parties will be advised of the result.

g. When the grievance process is at an end, those involved in the grievance will be advised in writing.

h. Reprisal of any kind against aggrieved persons lodging a complaint will not be tolerated

Therapeutic Dog Services expects all persons to act honestly and in good faith in lodging a grievance or taking part in an investigation. We will view a failure to do so as a profoundly serious matter, potentially leading to disciplinary action or dismissal.

Procedures for staff to submit a grievance

The following relates to procedures members can follow if they have a grievance about their employment or volunteering conditions, their Supervisor, or the Management Committee. In the event of a grievance the following Procedures are as follows:

a. Where the person (member/staff/volunteer/committee member) is aggrieved by the actions or conducts of another person the recommended initial step is (if possible) for both parties to informally attempt resolve the grievance by discussion and negotiation, abiding by Therapeutic Dog Services Incorporated Code of Conduct.

b. If the grievance remains unresolved, the aggrieved person shall raise the matter with their supervisor who shall take all steps reasonably available to resolve the grievance. If the supervisor is implicated in the grievance, proceed to step (c) below.

c. If the grievance remains unresolved, it is to be referred to the Manager or the management board subject to their availability and their involvement in the grievance. The Manager or management board will discuss the grievance with the persons concerned individually

d. If both the Manager and management board are involved in the grievance, the grievance can proceed to step (f) below.

e. Failing resolution of the grievance by the means referred to above, a meeting is to be organised within a reasonable time between the persons(s) and/or person(s) nominated representatives(s) and the Manager and/or the President of management subject to their availability and their involvement in the grievance. Such a meeting is to be arranged as soon as possible after the dispute occurs.

f. If the grievance remains unsettled using the above means, Therapeutic Dog Services and the party/parties to the grievance may mutually agree to refer the grievance to mediation as soon as practical.

g. If the grievance cannot be resolved following mediation, either party may notify the South Australian Industrial Relations Commission.

h. Grievances relating to the operation of Therapeutic Dog Services are to be taken to Management Board of Therapeutic Dog Services

I. Grievances relating to an allegation of sexual harassment may be reported by the person aggrieved directed to the Manager or Management Board of Therapeutic Dog Services Incorporated

j. Reprisal of any kind against aggrieved persons lodging a complaint will not be tolerated

Therapeutic Dog Services expects all persons to act honestly and in good faith in lodging a grievance or taking part in an investigation. We will view a failure to do so as a profoundly serious matter, potentially leading to disciplinary action or dismissal.

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