COPELAND Council has vowed to clamp down on unacceptable behaviour towards its staff and members.
The council has adopted a new Unacceptable Behaviour Policy, after an increase in incidents, that will come into play with immediate effect.
The policy identifies how staff and members should deal with aggressive or abusive behaviour, vexatious requests or complaints, and unacceptable levels of persistence and demands.
The organisation has adopted a zero-tolerance stance and is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for its employees.
Julie Betteridge, Executive Director, Operations at Copeland Borough Council, explained: “We deliver a wide range of public services and always aim to deal with customers in an open and respectful manner, however we do have instances where our staff and members encounter what we class as unacceptable behaviour.
“This may leave our representative feeling threatened or vulnerable and we as an organisation will not permit our staff or members to feel this way under any circumstance.
“For example, we have a fantastic customer services team who receive on average 1000 calls per week from members of the public as well as face-to-face contacts in our market hall and Millom offices.
“Our teams work incredibly hard to respond to enquiries in a courteous and professional manner and this new policy aims to protect all of our staff and members who encounter persistent, aggressive and abusive behaviour from members of our community.
“Our improved procedures will give them the confidence to end instances of unacceptable behaviour, whether that be over the phone, via social media, email or face-to-face, and will ensure that our professional environment continues to be safe and secure for all of our employees.”
In the policy the council sets out how staff and elected members should manage unacceptable behaviour including vexatious requests whereby members of the public continue to harass employees with requests - including submitting repeated complaints, even after complaints processes have been completed.
The policy applies to employees, elected members and the general-public as well as third party contractors and vendors who are receiving or delivering services to the Council.
For more information and to view Copeland Borough Council’s Unacceptable Behaviour Policy go towww.copeland.gov.uk.