We are here to serve the public and believe that everyone has the right to be heard, understood and respected.

Our staff also have the right to work in a safe environment, free from harassment and discrimination based on the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Policy (HRAP).

We understand that people can become upset or angry when their matter is not being dealt with as they might wish, but aggressive or abusive behaviour is unacceptable.

Unacceptable behaviour includes language or actions that may cause staff to feel afraid, threatened or abused. This behaviour includes comments that are discriminatory or harassing, including racial harassment and sexual harassment.  Some examples include threats, verbal abuse, derogatory or insulting remarks, rudeness, profanity and yelling. It may also include excessive calls, emails or other communications.

When a service user behaves in an unacceptable way, we may decide to:

  • Provide a warning and advise the service user about expectations as set out in this Code of Conduct and in the HRAP.
  • Escalate the issue to management.
  • Tell the service user that we consider their actions offensive, unnecessary and unhelpful and ask them to stop.
  • Tell the service user to leave, or end the call.
  • Call building security, City Hall security or the police (this will always be the case if physical violence is used or threatened).
  • Report discriminatory conduct to the Human Rights Office where appropriate.
  • Impose an alternative service arrangement to ensure we can serve that person fairly while protecting our staff from abuse and harm; this could include restricting service provided only through voicemail or formal letters.