I have to be careful what information I put here so I apologise for being sketchy.
Let's say I was a client of a large organisation a number of years ago. An employee at the organisation treated me very unprofessionally. His behaviour was not illegal but was against the rules of his job (and immoral).
I have recently decided to report this to the organisation, and have done so. They have received my complaint and said that they are taking it seriously and intend to take appropriate action. HOWEVER they say that they cannot tell me any more or keep me informed on the process as it is an internal employment matter.
I feel that having put in a complaint, I should be entitled to some kind of feedback. They say that they can't enter into dialogue with me and it is a confidential employee matter now and they don't intend on coming back to me with any feedback or follow up on my complaint at all. There was no exchange of money so not a compensation situation.
I don't know what you expect. They certainly can't tell you what disciplinary action, if any, they have taken against the employee. They can't even tell you if he is still employed by them given that it has apparently been a number of years since the issue arose. They are correct that all this information is confidential.
My complaint is outwith the usual time frame for complaints so not following the traditional complaints procedure. They have agreed to waive the usual cut off time period for complaints due to the seriousness of what I am reporting.
They have told me that they will deal with it, are taking it seriously but will not be feeding back to me in any way at all.
I need/want to know because it has taken a long time to come forward about what occurred and I think that if an ex client raises a complaint, there should be some kind of feedback on this, personally. If an employee of mine had done something wrong, even in the past, I would want to be reassuring my client about how it had been handled, even in generic terms.
I can't escalate it really as I will not know what their response has been!
So you are saying it is normal to put in a complaint and not receive any feedback?
You have had feedback. They have told you they are taking the matter seriously and intend to take appropriate action. That, along with their comment about it being an internal employment matter, tells you that they are looking at disciplinary action against the employee concerned.
The disciplinary process is confidential. They cannot tell you the outcome of the process. They cannot tell you what action they are taking against the employee. So it is difficult to see what additional feedback they can give you.
The appropriate action is an investigation, not a disciplinary. I would not expect to be told the result of a disciplinary. I would expect to be told the outcome of an investigation. I.e. your complaint has been upheld and action will be taken, or your complaint has been dismissed. Or even just some generic feedback about what steps the organisation will take to ensure this kind of thing does not happen again. But not a 'thanks for your complaint, we will deal with it, now go away' type response.
A former client makes a complaint about a current staff member regarding something that happened several years ago. Is there any independent evidence?
Your complaint could be one in a long string of similar complaints at that time and the staff member may already have received additional training or even been disciplined for their conduct - in which case, your complaint will filed with no investigation necessary.
Alternatively, if that employee has had no other complaints made against them, is efficient and effective at their job, and it is just your word that something happened years ago - what are the benefits to the organisation to investigating thoroughly now? The complaint will be placed on file, the staff member may be subject to closer scrutiny for a few months, but neither businesses nor the public sector have the resources to invest in an in depth examination of something that happened years ago.