Introduction

1. The War Widows’ Association of Great Britain’s (WWA) aims to ensure that its business is carried out in line with its Constitution and the Code of Good Practice. It will maintain the highest possible standards of integrity and stewardship; to ensure that the WWA is an effective, open and accountable organisation; and to ensure good relationships with all its members.

 2. The object of this policy is to provide a framework for dealing fairly and promptly with grievances/complaints received from members.

3. Grievances are concerns, problems or complaints that may arise from time to time and issues may be varied.

4. The Association will treat all grievances sympathetically, with proper consideration and within a reasonable timescale. 

Principles

5. Every member of the Association is entitled to use this Grievance/Complaints Procedure and should not be victimised for having raised a grievance/complaint.

 6. It will be assumed that a grievance/complaint will not have been raised dishonestly or maliciously and that all matters relating to a grievance/complaint raised will be treated confidentially. 

7. All grievances raised must be dealt with whether or not they are presented in writing.

8. It is in everybody’s interest that grievances/complaints are dealt with quickly, effectively and amicably. In many circumstances this can be done informally through discussion; however, there may be times when a more formal approach is required. Only grievances/complaints raised in writing will be dealt with under the formal procedure. Formal Procedure

9. If it is not possible to resolve a grievance/complaint informally or you do not wish to attempt informal resolution you may invoke the formal grievance/complaints procedure as outlined below. It is in the interest of all parties that the grievance/complaint is dealt with as quickly as possible.  It is essential, therefore, that Trustee/s dealing with grievances/complaints follow the timetable or, in exceptional circumstances, agree any extensions to any revised time limit.

10. The Grievance /complaint Procedure consists of 3 stages:

• Stage 1 – Raising the Grievance /complaint

• Stage 2 – The Grievance /complaint Meeting

• Stage 3 – The Appeal Stage

1: Raising the Grievance/complaint

11. You must set out the grievance/complaint in writing as soon as is reasonable after the event giving rise to the grievance/complaint. Your grievance/complaint should be submitted through the Secretary to the Committee of Trustees; a nominated Trustee or Trustees will be appointed to take the grievance/complaint forward depending on the nature of the grievance/complaint. Your written statement of the grievance/complaint should:

a. make it clear that it is a grievance/complaint under the formal grievance/complaint procedure;        

b. set out the reasons for the grievance/complaint;

c. outline what action, if any, has been taken to resolve the matter;

d. clearly state the desired outcome.

Stage 2: The Grievance/complaint Meeting 

12. The appointed Trustee/s will complete an investigation and following this you may be invited to attend a meeting to discuss the grievance/complaint with the Trustee/s appointed to deal with the matter. You may wish to have someone accompany you to this meeting.

13. Having heard your submission, and where appropriate, that of your representative or companion at the meeting, the Trustee/s hearing the grievance/complaint will review the grievance/complaint. Any further investigation or fact-gathering required at this stage will be carried out as necessary.

14. The Trustee/s after giving full and proper consideration to all of the facts presented both at the meeting and in the findings of any investigation, will then make a decision on the grievance/complaint. 

15. You and your representative or companion will be informed in writing of the decision by the Secretary within 5 working days of the receipt of the meeting summary from the Trustee/s. In this letter you will be advised of your right of appeal against the decision.

Stage 3: The Appeal

16. If you are unhappy with the decision about your grievance/complaint you may appeal. You should set out the reasons for the appeal in writing to the Secretary as soon as possible but no more than 10 working days after the date of the letter detailing the decision. Appeals received outside of this timescale will be rejected, unless you can provide a reasonable explanation for the delay.

17. You will be invited to attend the next scheduled meeting of the Committee of Trustees who will hear your appeal and discuss possible resolution of the matter You must take all reasonable steps to attend this meeting and may be accompanied if you so wish.   

18. The Committee of Trustees hearing the appeal will make a decision; this decision will be final. You will be informed in writing of the outcome of the appeal within 5 working days.