Kin Canada's Formal Complaint Policy and Procedure
The formal complaint policy and procedure is intended to:
- Ensure that all formal complaints filed by any of our Members are handled fairly, consistently, in a timely manner, and wherever possible, resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction in accordance to procedure.
- To provide a fair, formal complaint policy and procedure which is transparent, accessible, and easy to use for anyone wishing to make a complaint.
- To publicize the existence of our formal complaints policy and procedure so that individuals know how to make a complaint.
- To ensure the Operations Team knows what to do when a formal complaint is received.
- To gather information about the Association’s Formal Complaint Policy and Procedure which helps us to improve the use and effectiveness of the Policy and the Association’s operations.
All information gathered as a result of the Formal Complaints Policy and Procedure will be handled sensitively, sharing information with strictly the relevant parties and following all data protection requirements.
A concern is considered as an expression of worry over an issue about the Association, our members, our staff, our partners, or anyone else acting on behalf of the Association in which they require reassurance.
A complaint is considered as an expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, about the Association, our members, our staff, our partners or anyone else acting on behalf of the Association.
An individual may make a complaint if they feel the Association has:
- Failed to provide a service or acceptable standard of service to members, staff or partners;
- Made a mistake in the way a service was provided to members, staff or partners; or
- Failed to act in a proper way.
A complaint may be submitted in writing either in person, by email, or by post and addressed to the Executive Director.
The Executive Director shall first determine if it is a concern or a complaint.
Taking informal concerns seriously at the earliest opportunity will reduce the likelihood of the concern developing into a formal complaint.
If the complainant is not happy with the response to the concern and/or they wish to make a formal complaint, the following procedure will be followed.
- Complainant will submit a formal written complaint, and will be advised that the Association has a Formal Complaint Policy and Procedure and be advised where to find it.
- The complainant must provide their name, address, email address and phone number in written complaint.
- The complainant must provide the facts of the complaint.
Resolving the Complaint
Stage 1 – The Initial Process
The complaint will be formally acknowledged in writing by email within two (2) business days.
The written acknowledgement will include:
- A copy of the Association’s Formal Complaint Policy and Procedure;
- Confirmation of which staff will be resolving the complaint;
- Approximately how long it will take to resolve the complaint, including when the complainant can expect an update from the staff member assigned.
A complaint is often best resolved by assigning it to the staff member responsible for the issue of complaint. That staff will try to resolve the issue to the best of their ability following this Formal Complaints Policy and Procedure.
If the complaint cannot be resolved by the staff member assigned, the complainant will be advised that the issue is being forwarded to the Executive Director who will contact the complainant within five (5) business days.
Within two (2) business days of the complaint being resolved by the Executive Director the complainant will be advised in writing as to any resolutions reached.
Stage 2 – Escalation Process
If the complainant feels the complaint was not satisfactorily resolved in Stage 1, they can request in writing that the complaint be reviewed by the National Board of Directors.
Such a request will be acknowledged by email within two (2) business days, and the complaint will be forwarded to the National Board of Directors Management Committee who will review the complaint and delegate it to the Human Relations Committee.
The Human Relations Committee will virtually meet with both parties of the complaint, the member of the Operations Team who originally handled the complaint and the Executive Director. The Human Relations Committee will decide the number of meetings required to resolve the complaint and who should be in attendance for meetings.
Within ten (10) business days of the complaint being investigated by the Human Relations Committee, the complainant, the parties to the complaint, the member of the Operations Team who handled the complaint and the Executive Director will be advised in writing as to the definitive response to the complaint appeal by the Management Committee.
Stage 3 – Final Appeal
If the complainant feels the complaint was not satisfactorily resolved in Stage 2, the complainant can request in writing that the complaint be reviewed by the full National Board of Directors.
Any and all results reached by the National Board of Directors is final and no additional process of appeal or review is available to the complainant.
The Association will monitor and review the effectiveness of the Formal Complaint Policy and Procedure to ensure that it is continuously improved. The National Board of Directors Management Committee will review both the Formal Complaints Policy and Procedure and the formal complaints annually filed to identify any trends which may indicate a need to make changes to the Association’s Policies and Procedures.
EMPLOYEE COMPLAINT AND GRIEVANCE POLICY
It is the policy of the Association that no person shall be subjected to harassment, nor shall anyone be discriminated against or penalized for having properly reported conflicts, situations or practices that the person feels are contrary to Association policies, or are in contravention of laws or basic human rights.
In the interest of treating all employees equally and fairly, Kin Canada offers a dispute resolution mechanism that is intended to accommodate escalating conflict situations and grievances that cannot be readily resolved between or addressed by the involved parties.
For conflicts between two (2) or more staff members, they must first discuss the situation individually with their manager(s)/supervisor(s) in an attempt to mediate a solution. Where no manager/supervisor exists, or where the situation directly involves one or more managers/supervisors, the issue must be taken to the Operations Manager who will work with the parties in an attempt to mediate a solution.
Employee grievances, including those related to alleged harassment, are to be handled in the same manner described above for conflicts. In cases where the conflict or grievance involves the Operations Manager, or in the event that the Operations Manager is unable to mediate a resolution, the matter must be escalated to the Executive Director for mediation. In Cases where the grievance involved the Executive Director, the matter must be taken to the National Board of Directors Management Committee for delegation to the Human Relations Committee.
The complainant must bring the conflict or grievance in writing to the attention of the appropriate party as noted above in a timely manner. The person(s) at whom the complaint is directed shall be advised immediately of the complaint both verbally and in writing. The person(s) at whom the complaint is directed shall be given an appropriate opportunity to respond to the complaint in writing. The appropriate staff mediator shall ensure that the parties involved are advised of the outcome of mediation efforts and shall submit a written report to be filed securely with their employee records.
In severe grievance cases, a further resolution option will be made available to the employee. Severe cases would include only situations where standard grievance procedures have all been exhausted and the employee alleges either:
i. That Board policy on staff treatment has been violated to their detriment or;
ii. That Board policy does not adequately protect their human rights.
In such cases, the employee may, with the knowledge of the Executive Director, submit their grievance to the National Board of Directors Management Committee, who shall review the grievance and refer it to the Human Relations Committee to deal with.
It is the policy of the Association that all persons entrusted with mediation duties in resolving conflicts or grievances must exercise the utmost discretion in protecting the confidentiality of those involved.
Date adopted by the Board: May 23, 2023
To be reviewed every three (3) years.