Complaints Policy Report 2022 - 2023
2022-2023 Report on Complaints.pdf (157.72 kb)
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1. Background to the Complaints Policy
2. Complaints received by the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission
Section 1 – Background to the Complaints Policy
1.1 The Assembly Commission, in common with other public bodies, provides a method for members of the public to make a complaint about Assembly Commission staff, services and/or perceived failures in complying with the Assembly Commission’s Equality Scheme.
1.2 The Complaints Policy, which is published on the Assembly website, lists the type of complaints that may be made. These are:
- Our failure to provide a service;
- Inadequate standard of service;
- Assembly Commission policies; and
- Treatment by or attitude of a member of Assembly Commission staff.
The Policy also makes clear the issues that will not be considered under it. These are:
- Decisions of the Northern Ireland Assembly;
- MLAs or their staff;
- Executive Ministers;
- Executive Departmental policy; or
- The merits of decisions taken by the Assembly Commission acting within its legal powers.
Section 2 – Complaints received by the Northern Ireland Assembly
2.1 For the period from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 there was one admissible complaint. A summary of the investigation and response is set out in the following table.
The complaint was in the category of unfair Assembly Commission policies over the level of salary paid in respect of unused annual leave when the complainant resigned from employment with the Assembly Commission.
The complaint was referred to the Director of Corporate Services on 21 July 2022 who requested further information from the complainant.
Further information from the complainant was received on 25 July 2022.
A response setting out that the complaint had not been upheld was sent to the complainant on 26 July 2022.
The Assembly Commission was notified on 1 September 2022 that the complainant had referred their complaint to the Labour Relations Agency.
Nothing further has been received.
Section 3 – Conclusions
3.1 The fact that there was only one admissible complaint during this period pays tribute to the efforts of the Assembly Commission to ensure services are delivered fairly and transparently.
3.2 The Assembly Commission continues to endeavour to provide high quality and professional services for the public and minimise the number of complaints received.
3.3 As highlighted in this report, the sole complaint was not upheld. The complaint arose from a misunderstanding of the way pay for accrued leave was calculated where the complainant worked through the leave. The process for payment of working during accrued leave was set down in the Assembly Commission’s Staff Handbook and, based on that, the complaint was denied.
3.4 While it is unlikely that such a request will reoccur, consideration might be given to providing those Assembly Commission staff considering working through their accrued leave email confirmation of the way that payment for the time worked will be applied. This would ensure that there would be no misunderstanding and would aid those considering working through their accrued leave period.