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Complaints Officer

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.

The Role

We are looking for two experienced Complaints Officers to join our Complaints Team, responsible for handling Statutory, Corporate and Ombudsman complaints across Richmond and Wandsworth. This will be for a fixed month contract of 12 months.

As a Complaints Officer, you will be responsible for managing a caseload of complex complaints from residents and service users in both boroughs and supporting directorates with good complaint handling. This is a rewarding role, in a supportive and high achieving complaints team. We are passionate about adding value to Richmond and Wandsworth Council by learning from complaints and contributing to positive outcomes for our residents.  

The Complaints Officer will hold a broad range of varied casework. It is essential that you have a good understanding and working experience of at least one of the four complaint processes we handle: Corporate, Statutory Adults, Statutory Children’s and Ombudsman. 

The Complaints Officer will be required to:

  • Communicate directly with members of the public who have made complaints while demonstrating excellent interpersonal skills. At all times you will need a sympathetic yet objective approach
  • Provide advice and support to colleagues in all service areas regarding our complaints procedures (and for some officers, handling requests for information from both the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman and the Housing Ombudsman)
  • Review and quality assure responses to complaints that colleagues have drafted. You will therefore need to establish supportive working relationships quickly with colleagues in the directorates
  • Record, monitor and report on the progress of complaints and compliance with statutory and corporate procedures as required 
  • Assess the most appropriate complaints process for individual cases to be progressed; where there is ambiguity, present reasoned options to the Complaints Manager
  • Ensure complainants and colleagues follow the appropriate complaints procedure within relevant timescales whilst promoting a positive culture of learning from complaints
  • Work well under pressure, prioritise a varied workload, meet strict deadlines and operate effectively as part of a team.

The ideal Candidate will have:

  • The ability to effectively communicate with a wide range of people
  • good common sense and an ability to analyse and summarise complex issues 
  • A good knowledge and experience of complaint handling in a local government/health setting, particularly within the Statutory/Corporate/Ombudsman remit
  • Previous experience of dealing with people who are dissatisfied or unhappy
  • An awareness of the importance of client confidentiality and data protection
  • Be able to identify possible safeguarding concerns and ensure the necessary referrals or alerts are made 

If you are an internal employee and would like to be considered for a secondment post this is welcomed. All internal applicants applying for this post on a secondment basis must seek permission from their current line manager before applying. Failure to do so may result in the secondment not being authorised.

Work Location

In the Shared Staffing Arrangement (SSA) used by the two Councils, we recognise the importance of good work/life balance so we do everything we can to accommodate flexible working, including remote working. Applicants further away from London will therefore be considered and, if applicable, we will work with the successful post-holder to develop a suitable work pattern. Richmond and Wandsworth Councils are committed to flexible working, job sharing, compressed hours, home working and remote working to help people achieve a good work/life balance and find a work environment that enables staff to be productive and healthy. The current working pattern for the complaints team is a mixture of home working with planned time in the office for face-to-face team meetings. Please just let us know in your application or at any stage throughout the process (and beyond) if you would like to explore any of these options.

We are committed to providing a safe and supportive work environment for all staff. If they prefer, staff can work from our Council sites in Richmond (located in Twickenham) or Wandsworth.

Communication with complainants and colleagues is mainly via Microsoft Teams, phone and email although some meetings may be face-to-face in the future.

We also offer a generous holiday allowance of 39 paid days (pro rata) including bank holidays and a wide range of learning and development opportunities.

In addition, we offer a comprehensive range of staff benefits such as membership of the Local Government pension scheme, childcare vouchers, new technology scheme, interest-free loans on annual travel cards, discounts with many leisure activities, restaurants, shops and other establishments.

Indicative Recruitment Timeline

Closing Date:  23rd March 2023

Shortlisting Date:  29th March 2023

Interview Date:  18 & 19th April 2023

Useful Information:

The closing date is given as a guide. We reserve the right to close this vacancy once a sufficient number of applications has been received. We strongly advise you to complete your application as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

We particularly welcome applications from sections of the community who are currently underrepresented within our teams.  

Richmond and Wandsworth Councils are committed to making our recruitment practices as inclusive as possible for everyone. The SSA promotes equality and diversity and developing a culture that values differences, recognising that employees from a variety of backgrounds bring important and positive contributions to the Councils and can improve the way we deliver services. We are proud to be a Disability Confident employer.

Important Information:

Richmond and Wandsworth Councils are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people/vulnerable adults and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

Richmond and Wandsworth Councils

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