PART 11: MANAGING COMPLAINTS AND DISPUTES AT MACQUARIE
49. COMPLAINT PROCEDURES
49.1 The University’s Complaint Management Procedure for Staff (Complaint Management Procedure) provides a framework for Staff to raise and resolve Complaints. This framework aims to encourage good practice in the management of Complaints and is based on the following principles:
(a) Complaints should be resolved as close to the source as possible, having regard to the seriousness and nature of the Complaint;
(b) Complaints should be raised in a timely manner and the Complaint Management Procedure should provide for the timely escalation of Complaints, where appropriate;
(c) Complaints should be managed sensitively and, so far as is reasonably possible, confidentially;
(d) Staff involved in raising, responding to and managing a Complaint should work constructively towards reaching a resolution of the issues identified.
Representation and Support
49.2 A Staff Member involved in raising or responding to a Complaint may choose to be accompanied by a Representative at any meeting convened in accordance with the Complaint Management Procedure. The Representative may actively participate in the meeting but not answer for the Staff Member. The Staff Member and their Representative may withdraw to consult if required.
49.3 A Complaint must be lodged within 3 months of the Staff Member 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 the Complaint Management Procedure;
49.4 All parties involved in resolving a Complaint must endeavour, so far as practical, to complete the processes set out in the Complaint Management Procedure within 3 months after lodgement. However, it is recognised that some Complaints may take longer than 3 months to resolve or may not be capable of being resolved by processes internal to the University.
49.5 If a Complaint is not resolved at the final stage of the Complaint Management Procedure, the procedure will conclude. Any party to a Complaint may then refer the Complaint to an external authority with jurisdiction to deal with the matter.
49.6 If at any point in the Complaint Management 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 the processes set out under the Complaint Management Procedure.
49.7 If an anonymous Complaint is received, it will only be dealt with under the Complaint Management Procedure at the discretion of the University.
Circumstances in which the University may decline to deal with a complaint
49.8 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 or is obstructive, abusive or threatening in relation to the Complaint.
49.9 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 (matters of this type will be dealt with in accordance with clause 50, Dispute Settling Procedures;
(b) Health and safety matters (concerns about health and safety matters should be directed firstly to a Supervisor and/or raised through the University’s Safety Management System);
(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 this 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.