PeaceWise is a trusted, independent organisation you can refer to in your Complaints Policy
Why complaints policies are good
Many organisations are required to have Complaints policies for a variety of reasons. Complaints policies are GOOD, because they provide clarity on how an organisation will handle issues that people are upset enough to wish to complain about.
Why having a complaints policy alone is not enough
For Christian organisations, having a well structured complaints policy evidences a commitment to listen, to take complaints seriously, and to seek to address the issues in a God-pleasing way. Of course, behind the words of the complaints policy itself, there is a need for the people responding to the complaint to be seriously invested in listening well, having a good process in practice, and being concerned to understand and address the issue well.
If the way we respond to a complaint is not God-honouring, then having the policy alone is not enough.
Organisations need to take great care in who they select internally to administer their complaints policies. Ask: will the chosen person represent Christ to the person complaining as well as the other people looking on who are aware of the complaint?
Every complaint is an opportunity
One of the foundational peacemaking principles which PeaceWise teaches is that conflict can be three kinds of opportunities; an opportunity to…
- please and honour God. Ask: God, how can I trust and obey you and respond to this situation in a way that will reflect the relational principles in your word?
- serve others. Consider: is there the chance to bless the person making the complaint by serving them with respect and kindness in how I respond?
- grow to be like Jesus. Reflect: God, in the midst of this complaint, are there things you want to teach me or change in me through this situation to help me be more like your son?)
Christian organisations who seek to respond to complaints in this way are far more likely to have positive complaints outcomes for the person complaining and for the organisation than those which do not.
Similarly, Christian organisations should seriously consider the implications of the choice between Christian or secular organisations as the external dispute resolution body referred to in the policy.
How to refer to PeaceWise in your complaints policy
PeaceWise is pleased to be able to serve organisations who wish to include a reference an external, independent complaints agency or body in their policy. PeaceWise is committed to approaching all such cases with care, professionalism and a thoroughly Christian approach that reflects biblical relational and peacemaking principles.
If you wish to refer to PeaceWise, below is an example which you can adapt for your circumstances.
Please first note the following important things:
- If you wish to refer to PeaceWise in your complaints policy, you must first ask us for permission to do so by emailing us as [email protected]
- PeaceWise cannot give legal advice or promise that the wording below is appropriate for all circumstances – you should always have the wording you use reviewed by an expert is this area – for example a lawyer, human resources or compliance professional.
- You should reference how the question of who pays for the service will be addressed – for example, employers would typically be expected to fund an employee accessing an external complaints service.
- You should also include what the process will be in case PeaceWise determines that the case in question is not one suitable for the services which PeaceWise provides.
Important note – things we do NOT do and you should not say to others that we provide!
- PeaceWise is not an investigatory body and does not carry out workplace investigations. Rather, we offer conflict coaching services or mediation services or help facilitate conciliatory processes and conversations, depending on the situation and what is required.
- PeaceWise is not a whistleblower service and cannot be referenced as providing that kind of service.
An example wording referencing PeaceWise – for use in a complaints policy
The following wording would typically appear after other provisions in the complaints policy.
“If a complaint or issue has not been able to be resolved after following the other steps in this policy, the organisation selected to assist in these cases is PeaceWise (peacewise.org.au). PeaceWise is independent of organisation name and is committed to responding to complaint or conflict situations using an overtly Christian framework.
PeaceWise is not an investigatory or whistleblowing service, but rather seeks to address issues and achieve relational restoration. It does this by focusing on discussion and working through material and relational issues with a goal of addressing issues in a constructive, biblical and God-honouring way. PeaceWise makes its own assessment of each case to confirm that it is one suitable for its services.
Details of the assistance which they can provide in these circumstances can be found under the “PeaceWiseHelp” part of their website, found here: https://peacewise.org.au/peacewisehelp/
If you wish to contact PeaceWise because you are not satisfied with how a complaint or issue has been addressed, the following process is to be followed:
- Please first advise us that you would like to contact PeaceWise
- Make contact with them (or, alternatively if you agree, we will make first contact with them):
- Phone: 1300 173 223 or +612 8839 5860
- Email: [email protected]
- Complete their online form – you can visit the website for the form or it can be found here: https://peacewise.org.au/contact/
- Address: Level 1 Bulayu House, 16 Masons Drive, North Parramatta NSW 2151 (call the office first if you plan to visit)
- Once first contact has been made, we will work with you and PeaceWise to seek to address the complaint in a professional and constructive way to see the issue successfully resolved.”
The costs of using PeaceWise will be paid [explain how]. “