Jump to Content

What if someone complains about you

The Work Health and Safety Act 2012, requires you to provide a safe workplace and take care of your staff's physical and psychological well-being. If one of your staff makes a complaint against you, it is still your responsibility to address the issue.

Complaints against employers are often because staff feel unfairly treated, although it may not be treatment that is unlawful. Some common issues include the way:

  • they have been spoken to by a colleague or supervisor
  • their performance has been managed
  • investigations have been done in the workplace.

Legitimate comment on staff performance or work-related behaviour is not unfair treatment. You can give full and frank feedback, including criticism, with sensitivity.

Often it is not what is said, but how it is said that can offend people. As an employer you need to be able to handle staff that make complaints about you in the workplace.

If the complaint is about your behaviour

  • Focus on the facts and try not to take it as a personal attack.
  • Think about whether you did the wrong thing and how you could stop it from happening again.
  • Don't reprimand or victimise staff for raising a concern.

If the complaint is about a decision

  • Be prepared to explain why you made that decision.
  • Keep it confidential.
  • Let them know that they have the option to seek advice elsewhere.

If someone has made a complaint about you to the Equal Opportunity Commission, see complaints lodged with the EOC.