Procedure for Complaint, Appeals and Disputes
|Corporate Procedure: GIPL_CPRO05_ComplaintsAppealsandDisputes_V4.2|
|Authorized By: Neeti Verma, Chief Executive Officer|
|Approval Date: 17th August, 2022|
This procedure covers the complaints, disputes, acts of misconduct and appeals, by one employee against another, the management of the company, company management against an employee, an employee against the vendor or client, a vendor or client against an employee or any other stakeholder against a GIPL employee or the company in general.
All the employees including trainees and interns, and vendors and clients can file their complaint under this policy within the scope as defined herein.
It also includes the recommendations that follow in response to the assessment actions, and the role of the personnel involved in reaching a conclusive settlement on an appeal.
The objective of this policy is to address all complaints, grievances and disputes in a timely and just manner and describe a process to conduct enquiry in matters relating to acts of misconduct.
GIPL respects the right of employees and all people associated with the company to voice their grievances, file complaints, and prefer appeals against decisions of GIPL by following the prescribed process.
The objective of this policy is, thus, to provide an impartial, fair and transparent mechanism for dealing with complaints, grievances, disputes, acts of misconduct and appeals to maintain a healthy work environment and harmony amongst employees of the company.
GIPL has a policy to give utmost importance to the complaints and appeals as it feels complaints are a good source of feedback, and useful in taking corrective action for improvement in its activities and hence create trust in the company among stakeholders.
GIPL respects the right of persons and entities to disagree with the decisions of GIPL, and to prefer an appeal for the reconsideration of GIPL’s decision.
3. Terms and Definitions
For the purpose of this procedure, unless the context otherwise stated, the following definitions shall be applicable;
Appeal is defined as a “Request against a decision awarded by the Disciplinary Authority” by the person against whom the decision is awarded, to seek a review of the decision by being heard by the senior most authority in the company, i.e. the Managing Director (MD)/Board of Directors (Board) of the Company.
An appellant can be the accused or a complainant who is aggrieved with the final order of the Disciplinary Authority and has raised an appeal against the final order of the Disciplinary Authority with the MD/Boards of GIPL.
3.3 Complaint and Grievance:
Complaint or grievance is defined as a written statement of accusation, dissatisfaction or charge containing complete details of the incident comprising verbatim interaction, exchange of words (who said what and to whom, at what time, date and location including the names of witnesses, if any), duly signed by the complainant and submitted to the Disciplinary Authority immediately after the occurrence of the incident.
However, the maximum time limit to report the complaint by submitting a signed written statement of the incident to the Disciplinary Authority is limited to a maximum period of 30 days from the date of occurrence of the incident.
The complainant can be any person whether employee, intern, GIPL management, an external person associated with the company as a vendor or client etc.
Dispute may be defined as allegations of disagreement, or difference of opinion.
Charge-sheet is a written document detailing the allegations of misconduct with details as received in the complaint served on the individual against whom the allegations are made in the complaint. The charge- sheet, inter alia, requires the charged official to provide a written and signed explanation as to why disciplinary action should not be initiated against him/her.
An enquiry is the process deployed in search for truth, facts, or circumstances concerning charges of committing acts of misconduct framed against the accused as per the written complaint received by the Disciplinary Authority and/ or an act of misconduct noticed/ brought to the notice of the management.
Without prejudice to the general meaning, the term misconduct, or acts of misconduct shall be deemed to mean and include the following:
- Willful in-subordination or disobedience whether alone or in collusion with other employee(s) of any lawful or reasonable order or instructions of a superior.
- Striking work or inciting others including colleagues to go on strike in contravention of the rules in force.
- Loitering, idling, or sleeping during duty hours and neglecting office work while on duty during office hours, or beyond as required and permitted by the reporting manager.
- Being irregular in attending duty and/or a habitual latecomer, or frequently absenting from appointed place of work during working hours without permission.
- Failure to carryout work in accordance with general or specific instructions given by the superior or officers of the company directly or through delegated authority.
- Willfully causing damage or breakage or loss to the company’s properties or equipment. This will be including sabotage or abetment or instigation thereof, or irresponsible action resulting in damage to any goods or properties in the establishment and premises of the Company.
- Theft, fraud, or dishonesty involving Company’s business or property or another employee’s or customer’s property in the establishment and/ or company premises.
- Habitual absence without leave or absence without leave or over-staying beyond the period of the sanctioned leave without enough grounds or proper or satisfactory explanation including absence from the appointed place or work without obtaining permission.
- Disclosure, or communication to any unauthorized person, of information or documents relating to the company’s business or security or trade secrets of any work or process used in the Company, which may come into the possession of the employee or to which the employee is privy due to nature of his/her official work. This will also include using, or commercializing any invention, discovery, or patent made or registered in the course of employment with the company, to the benefit of himself or any other person.
- Participation in, or incitement to other to take part in activities detrimental to company’s interest.
- Taking, giving, offering or demanding bribes or any illegal gratification whatsoever.
- Deceptive or corrupt practices in connection with the work of the company.
- Being in the state of drunkenness or intoxication while on duty, fighting, riotous or disorderly behavior or indecent behavior including manhandling, beating, abusing, threatening or intimidating anyone within the premises of the establishment or company or any other act considered to be inappropriate by the management.
- Distribution or exhibiting inside the works premises, hand bills, pamphlets, or posters, and/or collection of any money, except as permitted by any law, for the time being in force, or doing any propaganda work including canvassing for any union or association, or taking out any procession in the premises of the Company without the previous permission of the management.
- Smoking in the work place, except in the places where smoking is not prohibited.
- Alleging false accusations or charges against any colleague, staff member, or officer.
- Refusal to receive any order, letter, communication, charge sheet or instructions issued to the employee by the superior officer or the management; or refusal to produce the identity card while in the establishment/ company premises when demanded by any person authorized by the management for the purpose.
- Falsifying or refusing to give testimony when accident or other matters including domestic enquiry.
- Engaging in private work or trade including money lending within the company premises or engaging in other employment of profit while still discharging the services of the company, without the written permission of the management.
- Making false statement in the application for an appointment including non-disclosure of disease or diseases that applicant had suffered from in the past, or still suffering from at present, and giving false information regarding one’s age, father’s name, permanent address, present address, qualification or previous employment or experience.
- Displaying inefficiency and lack of skills and workmanship in performance of duties for which the employee is appointed.
- Repetition of any act of commission or omission for which fine may be imposed under the payment of Wages Act or any other Act applicable to the establishment.
- Committing nuisance in the work premises.
- Over-staying or entering in the work premises while not on duty, or without reasonable cause and written permission, or entering and/or exiting through the gates other than the one(s) prescribed by the management.
- Carrying unauthorized arms or lethal weapons in the company premises or conducting an act within the establishment/ company premises, which is likely to endanger the life or safety of any person or property of the company.
- Conviction in any court of law for any criminal offence involving moral turpitude.
- Participation in, or instigating others to participate in any illegal strike.
- Slowing down performance of work or inciting others to resort to deliberate “go slow” in discharging duty.
- Organizing attending or holding meetings inside the premises of the company without the previous permission of the management or except in accordance with the provisions of any law for the time being in force.
- Gambling within the premises of the company.
- Picketing and/or violent demonstrations or any other kind of demonstrations.
- Spreading false rumors or giving false information which may bring disrepute to the credibility and business of the company, or may spread panic amongst the colleagues.
- Collection of any money within the premises for purposes not approved by the management.
- Refusal on the part of the employee to work on another job or on another machine or similar machine, other than job or machine on which he/she is usually employed, or refusal to work overtime as per provisions of law, including on Sundays, weekly off days and other festival holidays when exigencies of work so demand.
- Willful discourtesy to any of the persons connected with the affairs of the establishment and/ or company/ client/ vendor.
- Deliberate abuse of any leave privilege or concession or benefit for the time being in-force.
- Failure to observe safety instructions and indulging in acts which endanger the lives and safety of self or others, or properties of the company.
- Refusal to accept transfer order or refusal to accept transfer from one shift of work to another, or from one section of work to another or another establishment within the control of same management.
- Not taking reasonable precautions to safeguard company’s properties and to prevent the same from accident or damage.
- Failure to report at once to his/ her superior or manager regarding any defect which the employee may notice in any equipment being used by him/her.
- Interfering with the record of attendance or means of recording attendance of himself or any other employee or willful falsification, defacement or destruction of other records of the company.
- Refusal to accept any official communication including charge sheet or order or other communication served in connection with an act of indiscipline on part of the employee.
- Making a false statement before a superior or forging the signature of the superior or controller in any record or register of the establishment and/ or company.
- Willful and serious defect in workmanship.
- Willful damage to, or sabotaging functioning of the machines, tools, equipment or material in the establishment and/ or company.
- Any other act considered as an act of misconduct by the management.
Habitual means involving repetition of any act of commission or omission more than 3 times in a period of 12 calendar months.
Employee is any person working in the premises of GIPL or its group, associate companies or affiliates in whatever position or designation (Confirmed, Probationary, Temporary, Casual, Intern, Consultant, Retainer, Contract employee whether directly engaged by the company or through third party, or whether on rolls of the company or otherwise) on whom the GIPL has direct or indirect control.
3.11 Enquiry Officer:
Enquiry Officer is nominated by the Disciplinary Authority to hold the Enquiry in a complaint, grievance, dispute, or misconduct. An Enquiry Officer can be an employee of the company, who is not directly connected with the complaint, grievance, dispute, or misconduct, or can be an external person with sound knowledge of conducting an Enquiry.
3.12 Management Representative:
Management Representative is nominated by the company to represent the company before the Enquiry Officer to represent the company and present its view in the matter during the enquiry proceedings, if required.
3.13 Charged Employee:
Charged Employee refers to an employee who has been issued a Charge Sheet.
3.14 Accused Employee:
Accused Employee refers to an employee against whom allegations are made in the Grievance, Complaint, Dispute including an act of misconduct.
GIPL refers to GICIA India Pvt. Ltd.
4.1 Handling of Complaints, Appeals and Disputes
- GIPL is open to receiving complaint/appeal/dispute. The complaint, grievance, dispute and/or allegations of misconduct must be made in writing on email address: [email protected]. The complaint/appeal/dispute must be made in writing to the Disciplinary Authority (CEO) of the Company or any other nominated designatory appointed as Disciplinary Authority by the Board of the Company. If the complaint/appeal/dispute has no details of the complainant or the description is not adequate, GIPL reserves the right of dealing with the complaint/appeal/dispute as deemed fit. GIPL can also investigate the reports appearing in media, if relevant.
- Once the complaint/appeal/dispute is received, it should be directed to the respective Scheme Manager for further investigation. GIPL shall provide an initial response for the acknowledgement of the complaint, including an outline of the proposed course of action to follow up on the complaint or appeal, within 5 working days of receiving a complaint or appeal.
- The designated personnel shall maintain a record for the complaint/appeal/dispute that is received by GIPL within the Complaint Registry Sheet. The designee personnel shall assign the appropriate registration number/complaint number to the complaint/appeal/dispute as per the Document Control System in GIPL. The important dates, viz., date of receipt of complaint/appeal/dispute, date of acknowledgement, description of the complaint, outcome of the complaint, date of disposal including date of final disposal/closure along with other details shall be recorded in Complaint Registry Sheet.
- Initial scrutiny of the complaint/appeal/dispute is done by the designated personnel. This is to determine that the complaint/appeal/dispute falls within the ambit of GIPL activities and whether the complaint/appeal/dispute prima facie holds ground.
- If it is found that the complaint/appeal/dispute does not fall within the ambit of GIPL the complaint/appeal/dispute is considered closed and the complainant is informed accordingly.
- If the complaint/appeal/dispute falls within the ambit of GIPL and the initial information provided in the complaint/appeal/dispute is enough to act upon, the complaint/appeal/dispute is investigated further as deemed fit.
- The entire handling process of the complaint/appeal/dispute should respect and maintain confidentiality, non-discrimination, avoid conflict of interest and maintain complete impartiality.
- The decision of the complaint/appeal/dispute designed/committee shall be final and supersede any procedure of the GIPL to handle complaints, appeals and disputes etc.
- In general, GIPL will not charge any fee or cost from the complainant/appellant for investigation of the complaints or processing of appeals filed by him/her. However, in case the investigation of the complainant or processing of appeal involves substantial expenses; viz procurement of documents, interviews with witness or contact persons at different locations, inspection of sites at different places, etc. required to be undertaken in the course of investigation, the complainant/appellant shall have to bear a part of the total cost involved subject to a maximum of 25% of such cost.
- GIPL shall investigate the allegations, specify all its proposed actions in conclusion to the complaint or appeal and resolve the complaint/appeal/dispute within 30 days of receiving it and the outcome shall be communicated to the complainant within the above specified period.
- GIPL shall ensure that the outcome of the complaint, consent of the outcome along with the feedback of the complainant (if it has been resolved or not) to be taken care of (by the Scheme Manager in case of complaints from clients).
- Any complaint/appeal/dispute received to GIPL shall be communicated to the Head-Quality Assurance and the designated personnel or the Scheme Manager handling the complaint shall make sure to register it in the Complaint Registry Sheet of GIPL adding the remarks if the complaint has been resolved or not.
- A copy of the final orders shall be supplied to the accused employee(s) on his/her email id in personal records.
- Records of complaints and complete disciplinary proceedings shall be maintained by HR Department in the personal file of the accused employee(s).
- If a complaint is not resolved, the complaint can go to appeals with GIPL.
4.2 Process of Complaints (other than GIPL staffs)
- On receipt of a complaint, designated personnel shall discuss the matter of complaint with the concerned officer dealing with the relevant subject or scheme, and the case is assigned and investigated accordingly.
- If required, a hearing with the complainant or clarification form the concerned may be taken.
4.3 Process of Complaints on GIPL Staff:
- On receipt of a complaint, the Disciplinary Authority shall assign the complaint, grievance, dispute, allegations of misconduct to a senior functionary, herein after called as Designated Authority, to investigate the matter, and report whether prima-facie there exists a case of complaint, grievance, dispute, misconduct.
- If required, the Designated Authority may organize a hearing with the complainant and, seek clarification and information about the case or incident from all concerned by issuance of memorandums. The Designated Authority based on the information collected and other prima facie evidence, prepare and submit a report to the Disciplinary Authority, citing his/her opinion as to whether there exists or does not exist a reason, case for complaint, grievance, dispute, misconduct, within two weeks from the date of being appointed as the Designated Authority by the Disciplinary Authority in the case.
- Upon receipt of report from the Designated Authority, the Disciplinary Authority shall decide and communicate whether the complaint, grievance, dispute, allegations of misconduct is well founded and tenable or not. If it is found that the complaint, grievance, dispute/ allegations of misconduct is not well founded and tenable, and, therefore, no enquiry in the matter is called for, the complainant shall be so informed by the Disciplinary Authority or the Head Human Resource.
- However, if the Disciplinary Authority is of the opinion that the complaint, grievance, dispute, allegations of misconduct need to be further evaluated and investigated, the Disciplinary Authority shall appoint an Enquiry Officer to conduct the enquiry in all fairness, following principles of natural justice. If the investigation requires management to present its side, the Disciplinary Authority shall inform the Management Representative, appointed by the management for the purpose.
- No punishment against an employee in respect of a complaint, grievance, dispute, allegations of misconduct shall be made, except only after holding an enquiry against the charged employee(s) following the procedure as detailed heretofore. However, no enquiry is required to administer a warning on an employee, or when the concerned/ charged employee(s) has/ have admitted the allegations/ charges.
- The accused employee(s) against whom the enquiry is to be held as decided by the Disciplinary Authority, the accused employee (s) shall be issued a charge-sheet clearly setting forth the evidence and materials substantiating the charges against him/her/them and seeking their explanation and defense.
- The charged employee(s) shall be given time not less than three working days to file a written statement in response to the charge-sheet.
- The Disciplinary Authority having appointed the Enquiry Officer shall send an intimation to the charged employee to cooperate in the conduct of the enquiry, and adhere to the enquiry schedule, and attend enquiry proceedings as per the instructions of the Enquiry Officer.
- Depending upon the gravity and nature of allegations against the accused employee(s), the accused employee(s) can be suspended pending issuance of charge-sheet and/ or enquiry.
- An accused employee who is placed under suspension after issuance of charge-sheet and/ or an employee who is placed under suspension pending issuance of charge-sheet/ enquiry, shall during the period of suspension, be paid a subsistence allowance at the following rates:
- The subsistence allowance for the first ninety days from the date of suspension will be equal to 50% of gross monthly salary.
- If the enquiry gets prolonged and the accused/ charged employee(s) continues to be under suspension for a period exceeding ninety days for factors not directly attributable to the accused/ charged employee(s), the subsistence allowance shall for such period be equal to 75% of the gross monthly salary. However, if the enquiry is prolonged beyond a period of ninety days for reasons directly attributable to the accused/ charged employee(s), the subsistence allowance shall, for the period exceeding ninety days, will be reduced to 25% of the gross monthly salary.
- If, on the conclusion of the enquiry, the accused/ charged employee(s) is/are found guilty of the charges made against him/her/them, a notice will be served on the employee(s) giving him/her/them a reasonable opportunity of making representation on the penalty proposed to be imposed on him/her/them, of dismissal/discharge/fine/ stoppage of annual increment or reduction in rank etc.
- The Disciplinary Authority after due consideration to the charges against the accused, findings of the Enquiry Officer, and representation of the accused on the penalty(ies) to be imposed shall pass an order for imposition of the penalty, which in the circumstances of the case, will serve the ends of justice.
- Provided that when an order of dismissal is passed by the Disciplinary Authority, the accused employee(s) shall be deemed to have been absent from duty during the period of suspension, and, therefore, shall not be entitled to any remuneration for such period. However, the subsistence allowance already paid to him/her/them shall not be recovered.
- If an order imposing fine or stoppage of annual increment or reduction in rank is passed by the Disciplinary Authority, the accused employee(s) shall be deemed to have been on duty during the period of suspension and shall be entitled to the same wages as he/ she/ them would have received, if he/ she/ they had not been placed under suspension, after deducting the subsistence allowance paid to him for such period.
- The payment of subsistence allowance shall be subject to the accused/ charged employee not taking up any employment and/or freelancing work during the period of suspension and furnishing a certificate to that effect.
- The Disciplinary Authority suspending the employee pending enquiry may direct the accused/ charged employee(s) to be present at the appointed time and place to mark his/her/ their daily attendance.
- The oral/verbal statements of charged official and witnesses during the enquiry proceedings shall be recorded/documented in writing and his/her/their signatures obtained on the document.
- Both the parties to enquiry will submit a list of witnesses and information relied upon to the Enquiry Officer and the Enquiry Officer will provide a copy each of such documents to both the parties, receipt whereof by both the parties will against signatures.
- The witnesses to prove the acts of omissions and commissions shall be examined in the presence of the charged employee(s) and the charged employee(s) shall be given an opportunity to cross examine the witness. All statements made during the enquiry proceedings shall be documented in writing by the Enquiry Officer and signatures of concerned person(s) obtained thereon. The charged employee(s) shall be entitled to avail assistance of one of their colleagues of choice from GIPL to defend him/her/them in the enquiry.
- The assisting colleague of charged employee(s) shall be given opportunity to defend the accused, and examine witnesses, if any, on behalf of the accused.
- The proceedings of the enquiry shall be recorded in English or in Hindi, whichever is the language known to the accused employee(s).
- The proceedings of the enquiry shall be completed within a period of 45 days from the date of appointment of the Enquiry Officer, provided the period of 45 days may, for reasons to be recorded in writing be extended by the Disciplinary Authority by such further period as may be deemed necessary by him/ her, based on the recommendation of the Enquiry Officer.
- Upon completion of the Enquiry, the Enquiry Officer will submit the Enquiry Report to the Disciplinary Authority, who shall make available a copy of the report to the accused/ charged employee(s).
- Based on the Enquiry Report, if the charges made against the accused/ charged employee are disproved, the Disciplinary Authority shall consider the findings of the Enquiry Officer along with the evidences available, including the circumstantial evidence, and make his own judgement about the innocence of the accused/ charged employee(s), and if in the considered view of the Disciplinary Authority the accused/ charged employee(s) is/are not guilty, he/she may exercise the option of exonerating the accused of all allegations made against him/her/them.
- If the allegations as per the charge sheet are proved or partially proved as mentioned in the Enquiry Report, the Disciplinary Authority may provide an opportunity to the accused employee(s) to be heard before passing the order awarding the punishment.
- The Disciplinary Authority shall consider the gravity of the acts of omission and commission, the previous record, if any, of the charged employee(s) and any other extenuating or aggravating factors before awarding the punishment.
4.4 Process of Appeals
- Any person or entity not satisfied with the complaint decision of GIPL may prefer an appeal.
- Appeal shall be made by the appellant within 30 days of the receipt of the decision, indicating the specific decision appealed against along with reasons for disagreement or dissatisfaction.
- Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GIPL may, however, condone the delay beyond 30 days, if satisfied about the genuineness of the reasons for delay.
- GIPL shall acknowledge immediately the receipt of appeal and make an entry in the appeals register.
- Designated personnel shall inform the CEO about any appeal received and may request him to set up an Appeals Committee of significant persons including CEO/Management Representative, Quality Assurance Manager/Representative and technical experts to deal with the Appeal. Any person who was associated with the processing of decision appealed against shall not be part of the Committee. The members of this Committee shall have the authority to call for any relevant papers, evidences, give opportunity of being heard in person to both sides, or consult any expert on the subject, if felt necessary. After considering the relevant facts, the Committee shall evaluate, verify and record its decision. The decision of the Appeals Committee shall be based on a simple majority, if required, and shall be final.
- GIPL shall convey the decision of the Appeals Committee to the appellant. The communication shall, inter alia, include formal notice to the appellant informing him/her of the end of the appeals- handling process.
- GIPL shall take follow up action, including any corrective action as per the decision of Appeals Committee.
- Records of appeals shall be maintained, and details reported to the management at the earliest.
- GIPL shall resolve the appeal within 60 days of its receipt, and Quality Assurance Manager or designee shall record and communicate the same to the appellant.
4.5 Process of Disputes
- If the complainant/appellant rejects the proposed decision or action related to GIPL service, it shall be considered as dispute and GIPL Quality Assurance Manager (or designee) will provide notice of the dispute to the GIPL top management (CEO/Management Representative) within seven (7) business days of the receipt of the complainant/appellant’s rejection.
- GIPL Quality Assurance Manager (or designee) will submit the formal dispute file in which all materials and correspondence associated with the formal appeal, including the proposed decision or action, to the top management.
- Top management of GIPL shall constitute a Dispute Panel comprising CEO/Management Representative, Program Managers, Quality Assurance Manager and at least one technical expert who is independent of the:
- certification evaluation at issue;
- associated certification decision; and
- day-to-day implementation of the policies of the relevant GIPL services.
- The formal dispute file, including all evidence provided by the complainant/appellant, along with the proposed decision or action prepared by the GIPL’s Quality Assurance Manager (or designee), will be provided to the corresponding Dispute Panel.
- The Dispute Panel shall, at its sole discretion, may request for additional information by telephone or written correspondence from the parties. Based on its review of the facts, the Dispute Panel shall then prepare a written report of its findings, which shall be sent to the Quality Assurance Manager, the complainant/appellant, and any additional affected parties. The Quality Assurance Manager shall prepare and submit the Resolution Report within 120 days of receipt of the notice of dispute and the same should be communicated to all relevant parties and recorded in specified file.
Penalties are imposed on the charged employee after the charges are established against him/her following the due process of the enquiry. The penalties include dismissal from service, imposition of fine, stoppage of annual increment, reduction in rank, etc.
- Responsibility of handling of complaint/appeal/dispute rests with the Quality Assurance Manager or designee.
- To ensure no conflict of interest, personnel (including those acting in a managerial capacity) who have provided consultancy (see NOTE) for a client, or been employed by a client, are not used by GIPL to review or approve the resolution of a complaint or appeal for that client within two years following the end of the consultancy or employment.
7. Contact Us
For any complaint/appeal/dispute please write a mail to us at [email protected].