Complaints shall be handled sensitively and with due consideration to confidentiality for both learners and staff. Any person named in a complaint shall be informed of the substance of the complaint and shall have the right to reply as part of the investigation. Information contained within the complaint shall be made available only to those members of staff involved in its resolution. The College Director, Department Head or Head of Service shall also be informed of the complaint.
Limerick City College will not tolerate any behaviour which is discriminatory, unwelcome, intimidating or offensive toward any student or member of staff. All staff and students are responsible for ensuring that discrimination or harassment does not occur at any level in Limerick City College. Ultimate responsibility however rests with management. Any student or course applicant who believes that he / she has been unequally treated or was not accorded a reasonable accommodation by the college has the right to complain regarding the alleged discrimination.
Procedure for Informal Complaints:
- A student or staff member who believes he / she is being discriminated against by another student or staff member should follow the guidelines below:
- Step 1: Tell the offender to desist, as his/her behaviour/words or actions are unwelcome. If they feel unable to do so, a member of staff may act on their behalf.
- Step 2: If this approach is unsuccessful then report the matter immediately to the College Administrator.
- Step 3: Where this is inappropriate, then the College Director should be informed and will mediate between the two parties.
- Step 4: Keep a note of all dates, offences and witnesses, if any.
Procedure for Formal Complaints:
- If the procedure for informal complaints is unsuccessful, then a formal written complaint may be made and referred to the College Administrator. A formal investigation will then be instigated under the following guidelines:
- The College Administrator will establish a review committee in order to determine the validity or otherwise of the complaint in question.
- The procedure for the establishment of the review committee will be as follows:
- A minimum of 3 people with both genders represented
- If the complainant or alleged offender is a student, then a student member of the equality committee must be a member of the investigation team
- If the complainant or alleged harasser is a member of staff, then a staff member of the equality committee must be a member of the investigation team
- The College Administrator will carry out the actual investigation and present findings to the review committee.
- The investigation will be carried out according to the following guidelines:
- Immediate attention and priority coupled with assured confidentiality will be given to the investigation
- A fair and objective hearing for all concerned
- Discretion will be a priority while investigating the facts and seeking to find if other students have experienced similar harassment
- The alleged offender will be given details of the allegation and an opportunity to respond.
- The College Administrator will deliver a written summation of the investigation to the registrar in the case of a student and the Chairman of the Board of Management in the case of a staff member.
- The review committee will determine whether the complaint is:
- Insufficient evidence available in order to reach a conclusion
- Malicious. If malicious, appropriate disciplinary action will be recommended.
- The College Administrator will advise both parties of the result of the investigation.
- In the event where the complaint is found to be valid, then appropriate action may be taken. This may include the following:
- Disciplinary action to immediately stop the offensive behaviour and prevent a repeat of the behaviour
- Counselling recommended for both parties
- Sanctions. These may include verbal warnings, written warnings, fine or dismissal. The type of sanction imposed will reflect the status of the individual and also on agreed conditions of service or contract.
- If either party is dissatisfied with the outcome of the review committee, they will have the right of appeal to the governing body. The appeal must be lodged within 30 days of formal notification or resulting action.