4.10 Complaint Procedures

4.10 Complaint Procedures

4.10.1 A Staff Member (Complainant) may use this Complaint Procedure to have an appropriate person (identified in this Procedure) seek to resolve a Complaint. However, it is recognised that some Complaints may not be capable of resolution by processes internal to the University.

4.10.2 In this clause Complaint means a Complaint a Staff Member has about any matter, other than about:

(a) the interpretation or implementation of this Agreement (Complaints of this type will be dealt with in accordance with the Dispute Settling Procedures clause); 

(b) Health and Safety matters (concerns about H&S matters should be directed firstly to a Supervisor, and if unresolved to the Chair, or member, of a local H&S committee or the University's responsible officer for H&S matters); 

(c) conduct of another Staff Member which could constitute misconduct, serious misconduct or unsatisfactory performance (which should be dealt with under the provisions of this Agreement concerning misconduct, serious misconduct or unsatisfactory performance); 

(d) steps taken or being taken against a Staff Member (i.e., the potential Complainant) under the provisions of the Agreement concerning misconduct, serious misconduct or unsatisfactory performance (which should be dealt with under the provisions of this Agreement concerning misconduct, serious misconduct or unsatisfactory performance); or (e) any matter that can be dealt with by an alternative documented University process.

(e) any matter that can be dealt with by an alternative documented University process.

4.10.3 The Complainant must put the Complaint in writing and provide sufficient detail of the Complaint so that it can be properly understood.

4.10.4 A Complainant may choose to be accompanied by a person of their choosing at any meeting convened in accordance with this Complaint Procedure. The Complainant and their chosen representative may withdraw to consult if required. The representative may participate in the meeting but may not answer for the Complainant. The Complainant is required to participate actively in the resolution of the Complaint.

4.10.5 If a Complainant has a Complaint:

(a) about another member of Staff - there should be an attempt to resolve the Complaint directly between the Complainant and other Staff Member as soon as possible. If this is difficult, impractical or unsuccessful, the Complainant may refer the Complaint, in writing, to the Complainant's Supervisor who must try to resolve the Complaint by mediation as quickly as possible; 

(b) about their Supervisor - they may refer the Complaint to the Supervisor's Supervisor; or 

(c) about another matter - they should raise it with their Supervisor.

The Complainant, Supervisor or other management representative and the Staff Member who is the subject of the Complaint will use their best endeavours to resolve the Complaint.

4.10.6 If a Complaint is not resolved at the stage referred to in sub clause 4.10.5, the parties to the Complaint may refer the Complaint to:

(a) the next level of management; or 

(b) another Manager external to the work area appointed by the University.

Another attempt will be made to settle the Complaint, usually within five working days.

4.10.7 If a Complaint is not resolved at the stage referred to in sub clause 4.10.6, any party to the Complaint may request that the Director, Human Resources, in consultation with the Director, Equity & Diversity:

(a) seek to resolve the Complaint; or 

(b) refer the Complaint to an external mediator.

The Director, Human Resources, in consultation with the Director, Equity & Diversity, will determine how the Complaint is to proceed.

4.10.8 If a Complaint is not resolved at the stage referred to in sub clause 4.10.7, the Complaint Procedure will conclude.  Any party to the Complaint may then refer the Complaint to an external authority with jurisdiction to deal with the matter.

4.10.9 If at any point in the Complaint Procedure a party to the Complaint chooses to refer the Complaint (or part of the Complaint) to an external authority, it will be at the discretion of the University whether to continue with this Complaint Procedure.

Time Limits

4.10.10 A Complaint must be lodged within 3 months of the Complainant becoming aware of the circumstances of the Complaint. A Complaint lodged after this time will only be dealt with if the Director, Human Resources believes that special circumstances warrant the matter being dealt with under this Complaint Procedure.

4.10.11 All parties involved in settling a Complaint must endeavour, so far as practical, to complete the Complaint Procedure within 3 months after lodgement. A Complainant may ask the Vice-Chancellor to intervene if there is no resolution of the Complaint after 3 months.

4.10.12 If an anonymous Complaint is received, it will only be dealt with under this clause at the discretion of the University.

4.10.13 The University may decline to deal with any Complaint at any point if the University considers:

(a) the Complaint to be trivial, frivolous or vexatious; and/or 

(b) the Complaint to be outside the relationship between the University and the Complainant; and/or 

(c) the behaviour of the Complainant to be that of a querulant, obstructive, abusive or threatening in relation to the Complaint.

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