Complaints committee or dispute resolution committee

Support from independent experts

A complaints committee or dispute resolution committee (also known as a committee of appeal) is a panel of multiple (usually three) individuals who provide opinions on received complaints. The committee has an external, independent chairman (often a lawyer) to ensure the procedural aspects are upheld. The committee, after a careful procedure, issues a decision on the complaint. Its members can be experts in the subject matter or representatives from both the employer and employee sides. In the latter case, the works council can nominate a member of the committee.

Are you considering installing a (partially) external complaints committee? Do you want access to an external complaints committee when it is needed? Or would you like to have a discussion about the possibilities of such a complaints committee? Feel free to contact us without obligation.


The complaints committee or dispute resolution committee of Merlijn:

  • is carefully selected based on experience, is independent and objective;
  • they can communicate with the complainant(s) in their own language, including English, Polish, German, French, Spanish, and Moroccan;
  • is a partner of Merlijn Advies Groep and is committed to our values, the Ethical Code and the Complaints Procedure;
  • can also provide assistance with establishing a proper complaints procedure, and with the deployment of potential Confidential Advisor of mediators;
  • we train and advise works councils, oand a good collaboration with them is also important;
  • is part of one of the methods for which we deploy 200 professionals: a comprehensive conflict expertise. Advantage: other agencies have one safety net, we have 24!

A robust complaints procedure forms the foundation of effective complaint management. This complaints procedure outlines the complaint process. Typically, the first step is for the reporter to contact the confidential advisor to address and potentially resolve the dissatisfaction in this manner. One option is to choose a mediation conversation, involving a complaints officer or mediator. If this does not lead to a suitable solution, the reporter can file a formal complaint.


External complaints officer - duties, objectives, and position

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What does a complaints or disputes committee entail?

A complaints committee assesses the received complaint. At the beginning of the procedure, a complaint is first assessed for admissibility. The complaint is addressed through a hearing in which both the complainant and the accused are heard, and other parties may be summoned if necessary. The judgment of a complaints committee is careful, in writing, well-reasoned, and therefore subject to review. This judgment is provided to the management as advice. Due process and hearing from both sides are the core of the procedure. The facts are examined in an oral hearing, during which questions can also be asked. The committee seeks practical solutions or improvement and restoration of the disrupted relationship. The concrete complaint handling concludes with a verdict, a judgment.

Reasons to opt for an external complaints committee (dispute resolution committee)

The more independent a committee is, the more support its judgment garners. An internal complaints committee is often perceived as the butcher who inspects his own meat. This enhances the support for the independent complaints committee and increases the likelihood of a fair procedure in which both the complainant and the accused feel heard. When an organization aims to learn from complaints: it is a valuable tool for quality analysis, both in terms of content and the way they are handled. If an organization, visibly and carefully, handles complaints (from third parties, customers or clients, or its own staff), this has a positive impact on the company’s image. It can also prevent negative publicity surrounding a complaint and alleviate additional turmoil within a company through prompt resolution.

The advantages of an external complaints committee (also referred to as a dispute resolution committee) are as follows:

  • A well-functioning complaints procedure with an independent complaints committee helps to improve the quality of the organization.
  • Externally and towards its own employees, the organization demonstrates trust by taking complaints, and thereby its customers or clients, seriously.
  • Complainants want to be acknowledged in their perception of the complaint. A careful procedure with an independent complaints committee contributes to this.
  • Potential conflicts are nipped in the bud by listening carefully to the complainant and the respondent right from the start. Reputation damage from a complaint is avoided or repaired by opting for practical solutions with streamlined communication.

Are you considering installing a (partially) external complaints committee? Do you want access to an external complaints committee when it is needed? Or would you like to have a discussion about the possibilities of such a complaints committee? Feel free to contact us without obligation.

Tailor-made program

This way, we together create the perfect trajectory.


You contact the back office of Merlijn


We connect you with our quality manager for the complaints committee who listens to you, asks questions, and together with you, determines the (support) request


We provide a customized quote in which the agreements are clearly formulated: service on demand or based on a subscription

Fixed or subscription

Are you looking for an external complaints committee or members to complement your internal complaints committee?

Through Merlijn, you have the opportunity to establish an external complaints committee. For larger companies, candidates for the complaints committee are proposed and, if they are a suitable fit, allocated to the company. This way, the company has permanent members for filling the external complaints committee.

For smaller companies that want to fulfill their duty of care to their employees, there is the option to have access to a complaints committee when it is needed. This option is available by becoming a member of the Merlijn complaints pool. Through a subscription, with a modest annual fee, access can be obtained to a complaints committee that is assembled when needed.

Complaints procedure

The foundation for effective complaint management

Merlijn Groep offers you various solutions for obtaining a suitable complaints procedure:

  • Universal complaints procedure
  • Your complaints procedure evaluated
  • A customized complaints procedure tailored to your organization

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About complaints and dispute resolution committee


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Basic training in complaint management


A complaint, above all, is a valuable opportunity for improvement. By listening carefully and critically to what customers and employees have to say, and by handling complaints in the right way, you gain trust and your organization earns a better reputation.

The solutions to both internal and external complaints can also be used to improve the quality of service as well as the company’s production processes.

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