Appeals and Complaints Policy
Our team here at Hospitality Action are committed to delivering a high standard of service to the hospitality community.
Any enquirer, applicant or existing beneficiary to our charity has a right to appeal the outcome of a decision regarding eligibility to apply for a grant, the outcome of a grant application, or submit a formal complaint against the organisation or a specific member of staff about any of the services that we provide.
In addition to our commitment to supporting the hospitality community, including our beneficiaries and other users of our services, we are also committed to the wellbeing of our staff, who work very hard to support those who approach us for help. To assist our team to do their job effectively, we require certain standards of behaviour from our applicants and beneficiaries, which are detailed below.
1. Standards of behaviour
Our team are committed to helping individuals and families in need and we endeavour to be honest, equitable and open in our work, with the aim of making a difference to hard working hospitality people. In return we expect our team to be treated with respect and understanding.
Any behaviours considered to be aggressive, intimidating or coercive will not be tolerated. Our staff reserve the right to refuse direct contact with any enquirer/applicant that they believe has behaved in any way that has made them feel uncomfortable.
Examples of what may constitute unacceptable behaviour may include:
- threats of harm to HA staff
- threats of self-harm if demands are not met
- any comments perceived to be of a prejudiced nature relating to any protected characteristics (e.g. race, gender, sexual orientation etc.), as detailed in the Equality Act 2010
- Persistent contact (by phone or email) pressurising our team to prioritise an application or change the outcome of an application.
Any initial breach of our expected standards of behaviour will be communicated in writing to the individual involved and future contact with the individual may be referred to a Senior Caseworker, Grants Manager or Services Director. If our management team feel that further breaches of our behavioural expectations have occurred, Hospitality Action reserves the right to refuse direct contact with any individual deemed to be in to breach and access to financial support may be temporarily restricted or withdrawn.
2. What is an Appeal?
An appeal can be submitted in any situation where an applicant disagrees with the outcome of their application.
We always endeavour to base our decisions on a consistent assessment of an applicant’s employment history and income and expenditure. Ideally the person making an appeal should i) explain why they feel our decision is incorrect; ii) highlight any information that they believe we have misinterpreted; iii) provide any new information that they feel was not previously available to our team.
3. What is a Complaint?
A complaint can be submitted where anyone feels that i) their application has not been handled within pre-agreed timescales; ii) their personal data has not been handled or stored securely; iii) they feel that one or more members of our team have behaved in a manner that they have found to be disrespectful or unprofessional.
Ideally any complaint should include a detailed explanation of the alleged issue, including, where appropriate, i) the date and time of any direct interaction(s) with our team, ii) the method of contact (i.e. phone, email etc.); iii) the name of any staff member involved (if known).
4. Appeals and Complaints procedure
All Appeals and Complaints should be submitted in writing by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Hospitality Action, 62 Britton Street, London, EC1M 5UY. We aim to respond to all appeals and/or complaints within ten working days.
5. First Appeal/Complaint
On receipt of any appeal or complaint, all relevant documents are referred to the first level of management within the Charity that was not previously involved with the enquiry/application for the person making the appeal/complaint.
The appeal/complaint will be logged on the Charity’s database and a review of the decision/allegation will be conducted by the appropriate manager, including reviewing all documentation, timelines and communications. The review may include a request for further information or clarification from you by phone or in writing.
Following the review, the reviewing manager’s decision will be communicated to the person making the appeal/complaint by phone and/or in writing, confirming the outcome and, where the decision is unchanged and/or no further action will be taken, the reasons for the decision will be explained. The outcome will be logged on the Charity’s database for an appropriate time period in accordance with our data protection policies and responsibilities.
6. If the person making the appeal/complaint remains dissatisfied with the outcome of their appeal/complaint and wishes to escalate their concerns, they will be asked to provide further reasons in writing, including any new evidence that they feel is relevant. The second and final appeal/complaint will then be referred to our Charity’s Grants Committee for consideration.
The Committee’s decision is final and will be communicated to the person making the appeal/complaint in writing.