The recent controversy over David Jones’ sexual harassment claim should have rammed home to business owners of all sizes the importance of having a complaints handling policy for your staff, which allows them to raise issue such as harassment, discrimination, bullying or other problems.
It’s one of those things that you never hope to use, but you should always have.
The design of the policy will probably depend on the size of your start-up.
In very small companies, the buck may well start and stop with the owner, but it’s still a good idea to set up how a complaint can be made (for example, will it be in writing, verbally, with a support person present) and then how that complaint will be handled (referred to the relevant government regulator, investigated internally, even outsourced to experts such as lawyers).
Set out the confidentiality arrangements an employee can expect, and how they will be kept updated and informed about developments.
In short, give them confidence that these issues will be dealt with seriously and respectfully.
Get it done – Today!