WorkCover Queensland (WorkCover) recognises the importance of complaints management as part of quality customer experience. We are accountable for our actions and decisions. Customers and stakeholders have the right to complain.
This complaints management policy was developed in accordance with Australian Standard AS/NZS 10002-2014 Guidelines for complaint management and the requirement for agencies to implement a complaint management system under section 219A of the Public Service Act 2008.
WorkCover's complaints management system is based on the following principles:
- enabling complaints—providing easy access to make complaints, ensuring transparency for the complainant
- managing complaints—timely responses reached with objectivity, fairness, equity and privacy
- facilitating an outcome—ensuring all parties are supported and understand their rights and responsibilities and empowering our people to resolve issues as they arise
- accountability and continuous improvement—clearly explaining the outcome, learning from every complaint and improving future service delivery
- customer experience—listening to and confirming the context of customer complaints; providing fair and transparent information to customers around WorkCover's processes, and communicating openly when responding to customer complaints.
WorkCover is committed to resolving customer complaints quickly and fairly, and we empower our people to resolve issues as they arise. WorkCover operates within the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (the Act) and associated Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation 2014. We live our values of excellence, integrity, responsiveness and respect when doing our work. We support the right of our customers and stakeholders to have their complaints heard and actioned appropriately when they feel we have not met their expectations. We believe that all customer feedback—both positive and negative—presents an opportunity for improvement.
Scope of this policy
This policy provides a framework for complaints management within WorkCover Queensland. This policy has been formulated with reference to WorkCover's obligations under the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld).
It comprises a procedure for the management of all written complaints, unresolved verbal complaints and complaints referred by external agencies.
The policy also outlines how verbal complaints, which can be resolved within one working day without the need for escalation to a senior manager, will be resolved at the frontline.
Any complaint that meets the definition of a Public Interest Disclosure is specifically excluded from this policy, and is handled under WorkCover's Public interest disclosure policy.
How does WorkCover educate on how to make a complaint?
We are committed to making it easy for our customers to give us feedback by providing:
- simple information on our website about the channels we have available to lodge a complaint such as online form, over the phone, by letter or fax
- an option to lodge complaints anonymously
- easy access to our complaints policy
- information on how someone can lodge a complaint on your behalf with your authority
- access to the National Relay Service for customers with a speech or hearing impairment and the National Translator and Interpreter Service if customers with a first language other than English require it.
Empowering our people to manage complaints
WorkCover welcomes customer feedback and uses positive and constructive feedback as an opportunity to improve. Our people are expected to treat everyone fairly and equitably. Throughout the complaints process, it is essential that all parties are treated in a respectful manner and their issues are managed with integrity.
We regularly provide information, education and training to our people on complaints management via on the job coaching, online courses and resources on our intranet.
WorkCover is committed to providing a safe working environment for our people. This means any aggressive or abusive behaviour towards our people will not be tolerated. Professional conduct is expected of all parties and unreasonable complainants will be dealt with according to WorkCover's managing unreasonable customer conduct policy.
We have a dedicated Complaints Advisor who is appropriately trained to oversee complaints resolution and review processes. The Complaints Advisor is also responsible for the quality of data recorded and reporting of feedback trends information for continuous improvement.
How are complaints resolved at WorkCover?
The WorkCover complaints management system functions as follows:
1. Frontline complaints handling
Our people are empowered to listen to and resolve complaints. Most complaints should not take more than one business day to resolve.
2. Internal complaints resolution workflow
The Complaints Advisor is responsible for coordinating the resolution process when the complaint:
- cannot be resolved at the frontline within one working day;
- is a written complaint;
- is referred by an external agency; or
- is received through social media.
In these circumstances, the Complaints Advisor will:
- review complaints and refer them to an appropriate person for investigation and resolution
- review responses to ensure the issue/s has been addressed
- ensure all details are recorded to allow analysis of complaints.
3. External review
If a complaint is not resolved to the complainant's satisfaction, we will advise of external review options.
How WorkCover responds to complaints
Our complaints management procedure sets out recommended response timeframes for each type of complaint.
We acknowledge and make contact within one business day of receipt. Complaints will be resolved in two business days. However, if the matter requires further investigation we will agree to a reasonable timeframe with the customer.
Complainants can obtain feedback on the status of the complaint by calling us on 1300 362 128 or using the same channel they used to lodge their initial complaint.
Objectivity, action and privacy
WorkCover is committed to ensuring all complaints:
- are dealt with fairly and objectively;
- are treated confidentially;
- are treated to ensure the complainant does not suffer any reprisal from WorkCover or its employees for making a complaint.
Appropriate managers are engaged to investigate complex issues and if necessary, complaints and/or complainants are referred to external agencies. We take reasonable steps to ensure collected information is accurate, complete and current.
When a complaint is finalised, we will take appropriate remedies that are mutually beneficial to the complainant and WorkCover. Our intention, in resolving complaints, is to deliver customer experiences which are consistent with WorkCover's values and restore the complainant to the position they would have been in had the complaint not been necessary.
How are complaints monitored?
The Board and Executive Leadership team are responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of WorkCover's complaints management system.
WorkCover routinely monitors the effectiveness of our complaints management system and this policy to ensure statutory, policy and reporting requirements are met, as well as reviewing the appropriateness of outcomes. This is done by:
- performing quality assurance checks on a monthly basis to ensure our complaints management system meets service level timeframes and pre-determined criteria, as per our complaints procedure
- analysing complaints management data to identify trends and opportunities for continuous improvement
- reporting these trends, issues and outcomes quarterly to the WorkCover Board.
In the 2019-2020 financial year, we received 363 formal complaints, all of which were actioned.