Under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic), the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission provides a free and fair dispute resolution service.
The Commission is not a court and cannot make a decision about whether a breach of the law has occurred. When a complaint is made the Commission may contact the person or organisation the complaint is made against and try to resolve the issue. The Commission does not advocate or act for people making a complaint.
Complaints to the Commission are resolved through a process known as conciliation. This is where the people involved in a dispute talk through the issues with the help of the Commission, and with the aim of reaching an agreement on how the dispute will be resolved.
The aim of conciliation is for the complainant and respondent to reach an agreement about resolving the complaint. The Commission does not have the power to make orders or award compensation.
Many complaints are resolved at conciliation and outcomes may include:
- an apology (verbal or written, private or more public)
- financial compensation
- access to a previously denied job opportunity or service
- an agreement to change or stop behaviour
- an agreement to amend or develop policies.
If a complaint can’t be resolved by the Commission, the complainant may make an application to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to have the matter listed for hearing.
Under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic), a person who feels they have experienced sexual harassment could also make an application directly to VCAT for hearing. However, if a settlement agreement has been reached at the Commission, the matter cannot be reopened by making an application to VCAT.
If you need more information, please contact the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.
Enquiry Line: 1300 292 153
Telephone: 1300 891 848
Fax: 1300 891 858
TTY: 1300 289 621