Scottish Commission on Social Security: Unacceptable Actions Policy
SCoSS's policy on unacceptable actions
- Document Cover
- What actions do SCoSS consider to be unacceptable?
- Aggressive or abusive behaviour
- Unreasonable demands
- Unreasonable levels of contact
- Unreasonable refusal to co-operate
- Unreasonable use of the complaints process
- Examples of how we manage unacceptable behaviour
- Examples of how we deal with other categories of unreasonable behaviour
- Other actions we may take
- How we let people know we have made this decision
- The process for appealing a decision to restrict contact
- How we record and review a decision to restrict contact
- How to contact the Scottish Commission on Social Security
Other actions we may take
Where a complainant repeatedly phones, visits the office, raises repeated issues, or sends large numbers of documents where their relevance isn’t clear, we may decide to:
- Limit contact to telephone calls from the complainant at set times on set days
- restrict contact to a nominated member of SPSO staff who will deal with future calls or correspondence from the complainant
- see the complainant by appointment only
- restrict contact from the complainant to writing only
- return any documents to the complainant or, in extreme cases, advise the complainant that further irrelevant documents will be destroyed
- take any other action that we consider appropriate.
Where we consider continued correspondence on a wide range of issues to be excessive, we may tell the complainant that only a certain number of issues will be considered in a given period and we ask them to limit or focus their requests accordingly.
In exceptional cases, we reserve the right to refuse to consider a complaint or future complaints from an individual. We will take into account the impact on the individual and also whether there would be a broader public interest in considering the complaint further.
We will always tell the complainant what action we are taking and why.
Any member of SCoSS staff who directly experiences aggressive or abusive behaviour from a complainant has the authority to deal immediately with that behaviour in a manner they consider appropriate to the situation and in line with this Policy.
With the exception of such immediate decisions taken at the time of an incident, decisions to restrict contact with SCoSS are only taken after careful consideration of the situation by a more senior member of staff. Wherever possible, we will give a complainant the opportunity to change their behaviour or action before a decision is taken.