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Society adopts staff protection policy

15 August 05

The Society's policy designed to protect staff from unacceptable behaviour on the part of service users

The Law Society of Scotland has adopted a policy designed to protect staff from unacceptable behaviour on the part of service users.

A “service user” includes anyone who is receiving a service from the Society, acts on behalf of a service user or who contacts the Society’s office in connection with a complaint. The Policy on Unacceptable Behaviour applies “to the relatively few service users whose actions or behaviour we consider unacceptable”. It targets actions of service users who are aggressive, unreasonably demanding or persistent, resulting in unreasonable demands on the Society’s office or unacceptable behaviour towards its staff.

It is made clear that such behaviour will not affect the Society progressing a matter to completion through the complaints process. However, depending on the type of behaviour, it may result among other measures in the barring of direct contact with a particular member of staff, contact being restricted to written communication, or the Society declining to respond to abusive or offensive correspondence. Threats of violence will always be reported to the police. Where a service user repeatedly raises the same issue or makes unsubstantiated allegations, the Society may make arrangements to deal with them only at set times or by appointment.

Appeal against any measures can be taken to a senior member of staff.

Copies of this policy are available on request and free of charge from the Society’s office. The Society will review the policy on a regular basis to make sure that its aims are being achieved.