We are committed to dealing with all people fairly and impartially and to providing a high-quality service. In order to do this it is important that we are able to communicate with someone bringing a complaint to us so we can make sure we fully understand it. We therefore do not normally limit the contact that people have with us.
We do not expect our staff to tolerate any form of behaviour that could be considered defamation, abusive, offensive or threatening or as defined by the Equality Act 2010, harassment or discrimination. Or that becomes so frequent it makes it more difficult for us to complete our work or help other people. We will take action under this policy to manage this type of behaviour and this applies to all contact with us including the use of social media.
We will make reasonable adjustments in line with the Equality Act 2010 in order to remove barriers to accessing our service. It is important to us though, that we provide a safe environment for our staff to work in, which may mean we decide to restrict how someone can contact us.
If we consider a person’s behaviour is unreasonable we will tell them why and will ask them to change it. If this behaviour continues, we will take action including deciding whether to restrict the person’s contact with us. This decision will usually be taken by an Assistant Director.
We will usually only take action to restrict someone’s contact with us after we have considered whether there are any other alternative approaches we could make to prevent unreasonable behaviour from occurring. Any restrictions imposed will be appropriate and proportionate.
The options we are most likely to consider are:
- asking for contact in a particular form (for example, email only);
- only allowing contact with a specific member of staff or at specific times;
- asking the person to enter into an agreement about their future behaviour; and/or
- actions designed to specifically meet the needs of the person.
In all cases we will write to tell the person why we believe their behaviour is unreasonable, what action we are taking and how long that action will last. We will also tell them how they can challenge the decision if they disagree with it.
If, despite any adjustments we have made, a person continues to behave in a way which is unreasonable, we may decide to end contact with that person.
There will be occasions where we decide that a person’s behaviour is so extreme that it threatens the immediate safety and welfare of our staff or others. In these instances we will consider stopping all contact immediately, reporting what has happened to the police or taking legal action. In such cases, we may not warn the person before we do this.