How is a complaint mechanism established?
The best way to establish a complaint mechanism will vary from company to company. Your company may already have procedures in place that could be expanded into your future complaint mechanism?
This might be an existing public e-mail address or telephone line for customers that wish to raise issues. Or an internal, anonymous mail box your employees can use to make suggestions or raise issues. These existing procedures can be a good starting point for establishing an effective complaint mechanism.
When you begin this work, you can ask yourselves the following questions:
Do we already have a procedure or mechanism in place to handle complaints, at least in part?
If so, is it available to all the stakeholders our company could have an adverse impact on, or do we need to expand its scope? Can it handle different types of adverse impact, or must it be expanded so that this is also ensured?
- If not, do we have the resources to establish our own complaint mechanism, or does it make better sense to create a mechanism together with others, or alternatively take part in an existing joint complaint mechanism, for example via our industry organisation or other fora we are part of?
It can also be worthwhile to consider existing guidelines in this area. See, for example:
Company Mechanisms for Addressing Human Rights Complaints
For a guide to creating an effective complaint mechanism that was drawn up by a European association of companies working with CSR.
For videos and other cases that illustrate what other companies have done.
The Mediation and Complaints-Handling Institution for Responsible Business Conduct
For information on the Danish Mediation and Complaints-Handling Institution's activities and their significance for your company.