Unreasonable behaviour policy

This page sets out what we consider to be unreasonable behaviour and the actions we might take if an Informant’s behaviour goes beyond what we consider to be acceptable.

An overview of our policy

This policy applies to any person who may communicate with the IPA in any form.

All Informants have the right to have their concerns examined in line with the IPA’s complaints procedure. In most cases, dealing with complaints will be a straightforward process; however, in exceptional cases, the Informant may act in a manner that is deemed unacceptable. 

If unreasonable behaviour is identified, we will take action to manage it.

Aggressive or abusive behaviour

Our staff always deserve to be treated with courtesy and respect. It is unacceptable for our staff to experience aggressive or abusive behaviour, and we will not tolerate behaviour or language that we consider to be violent, insulting, threatening or inappropriate, such as:

  • Offensive language
  • Any form of discrimination
  • Inflammatory statements
  • Any form of intimidating or threatening behaviour
  • Unreasonable demands, including insisting on a response or action within an unreasonable timeframe
  • Insisting on speaking to a particular member of staff when we’ve explained they are not available or are not the appropriate person to speak with
  • Using abusive or foul language on the telephone
  • Making the same request to multiple members of staff without good reason
  • Excessive levels of contact which may unreasonably hinder the IPA’s ability to perform its role, including its consideration of the Informant’s or others’ complaints (e.g. excessive multiple emails, letters, phone calls and/or voicemails, or insistence on immediate responses to numerous, frequent communications and/or complex matters).

Actions we might take

Where we find the behaviour and demands of our Informants to be unreasonable, we will consider whether we need to take more formal action. We will aim to keep the impact of such action to the minimum necessary to solve the problem. The actions we will consider may include, but may not be limited to, the following:

  • Explaining to the individual why we think their behaviour is unreasonable and what action we might take if it continues
  • Where the Informant tries to reopen an issue that has already been considered through the IPA’s complaints process, informing the individual in writing that the process has been exhausted and that the matter is now closed
  • Where a decision on the complaint has been made, informing the individual that future correspondence will be read and placed on file, but not acknowledged, unless it contains important new information
  • Limiting communications with the individual to written communication only (i.e. email or letter)
  • Communicating only through a representative or agent of the individual, or of the IPA
  • Ceasing contact with the individual entirely and, in the case of an Informant, progressing their complaint without their further participation or communication
  • Where necessary or desirable, notifying relevant public authorities