Our Complaints Policy and Procedure
Updated April 2021
Our approach to complaints
Pregnant Then Screwed is committed to protecting, supporting and promoting the rights of mothers who suffer discrimination. We believe that complaints are an opportunity for us to learn, listen and, hopefully, improve the way we operate and support our beneficiaries. Our policy is:
- to provide a fair and transparent complaints procedure which is clear and easy to use
- to publicise our complaints procedure so that people know how to contact us if they wish to complain
- to train and empower our staff and volunteers to know what to do if a complaint is received
- to ensure that complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely way
- to do our best to ensure that complaints are resolved in a satisfactory manner
- to use the information we receive to improve how we operate and deliver our services and campaigns
What is a complaint?
A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, about any aspect of Pregnant Then Screwed’s work; this might arise through your contact with our support services, at an event, through your experience of our campaigns, via the administration or governance of PTS or in some other way. Regardless of how your complaint has arisen, we consider it to be the result of us having failed to meet your expectations.
This policy does not cover internal complaints from staff or volunteers, who should refer to the relevant handbook.
Confidentiality and privacy is of the utmost importance to us, particularly as we support women going through difficult processes at work. All complaint information will be handled sensitively by a senior member of staff, a trustee or an appointed external partner if appropriate. The information you share will only be made available to those who need to know and will be in accordance with all relevant data protection requirements.
Complaints Handling Procedure
We want to make it easy for you to contact us and to provide feedback or make a complaint. If you wish to make a complaint please email [email protected] and the details will be sent on to our Head of Operations.
We will contact you within 72 hours of receiving your complaint. If you provide us with a telephone number and/or email address we will contact you by either of those means to discuss the matter further and to officially record all necessary details. Hopefully, we can resolve the matter immediately. However, if the issue is more complex and an investigation is required, we will do the following:
The person who receives a complaint will:
- Record full details of your complaint.
- Record the complaint in our Complaints Register.
- Note down the relationship of the complainant to Pregnant Then Screwed, eg, donor, sponsor, beneficiary, service user.
- Take all necessary steps to investigate the matter.
- Contact you again within 14 working days of receiving the complaint to advise you of our findings or to give you an update on progress.
- Continue to keep you informed until the matter is resolved to your satisfaction or until all appropriate and reasonable steps to resolve the matter have been taken.
- Pregnant Then Screwed’s Head of Operations will handle all complaints in the first instance, and if necessary (due to seriousness, conflict of interest or complexity) will escalate the complaint to the CEO and then onto the Board of Trustees.
We’re committed to addressing each complaint in a sensitive, fair, transparent, equitable, professional and unbiased manner through the process above. We believe that any person is entitled to express his or her views on our services and that those views should be taken seriously where this is warranted. We will not, however, tolerate any abusive or discriminatory language or behaviour towards any of our staff, and may decline to investigate a complaint further in such circumstances. We attempt to resolve complaints in the following stages:
On receiving the complaint, if not already resolved, the Head of Operations will investigate it and take appropriate action. If the complaint relates to a specific person, they should be informed and given a fair opportunity to respond.
Complaints should be acknowledged by the person handling the complaint within five working days. The acknowledgement should say who is dealing with the complaint and when the person complaining can expect a reply. A copy of this complaints procedure should be attached. Ideally complainants should receive a definitive reply within 14 working days. If this is not possible because for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, a progress report should be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given.
The CEO will be informed of all complaints regardless of whether they are resolved or not.
If the complainant feels that the problem has not been satisfactorily resolved during the first stage, they can request that the complaint is reviewed at Board level. At this stage, the complaint will be passed to the Board of Trustees. The request for Board level review should be acknowledged within five working days of receiving it. The acknowledgement should say who will deal with the case and when the complainant can expect a reply. The Board of Trustees may investigate the facts of the case themselves or delegate a suitably senior person to do so. This may involve reviewing the paperwork of the case and speaking with the person who dealt with the complaint at the first stage. The person who dealt with the original complaint at the first stage should be kept informed of what is happening.
If the complaint relates to a specific person, they should be informed and given a further opportunity to respond. Ideally complainants should receive a definitive reply within a month. If this is not possible because for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, a progress report should be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given. Whether the complaint is upheld or not, the reply to the complainant should describe the action taken to investigate the complaint, the conclusions from the investigation, and any action taken as a result of the complaint. The decision taken at this stage is final, unless the Board decides it is appropriate to seek external assistance with resolution.
As Pregnant Then Screwed is a registered charity, the complainant can complain to the Charity Commission Regulator at any stage. Information about the kind of complaints the Charity Commission can involve itself in can be found on their website at: https://www.gov.uk/complain-about-charity.
Review of this Policy and Complaints Received
This policy will be reviewed by the Board of Trustees every 12 months and all complaints received will be brought before the Board for review at our regular Board meetings. Through this process of regular review we aim to improve our services to you and to ensure that any lessons learned are implemented within the organisation.
Variation of the Complaints Procedure
The Board may vary the procedure for good reason. This may be necessary to avoid a conflict of interest, for example, a complaint about a Chair or trustee should not also have the Chair and/or trustee involved as a person leading a review