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Our complaint process

When you lodge a complaint, we check that it is covered by the law and advise you in writing if it is not.

If it appears that you have been treated unfairly under the law, we accept your complaint and allocate it to a conciliation officer. We will then:

  • notify the person or organisation you are complaining about
  • ask them for a written or verbal response
  • gather information and relevant documents from both sides
  • keep both sides informed of progress.

The process is impartial and confidential.

There are three possible complaint outcomes:

  1. You may decide the issue is settled and withdraw your complaint. If this happens nothing more needs to be done.
  2. The Equal Opportunity Commissioner may decide not to continue with the complaint because it lacks substance, is misconceived, frivolous or vexatious.
  3. Both sides may agree to come together to conciliate, which is finding a private, agreed settlement.

During the process, the Equal Opportunity Commissioner:

  • cannot make a judgement on whether discrimination, harassment or victimisation occurred
  • may stop the process at any time
  • may refer the complaint to the Equal Opportunity Tribunal.


If, at any stage, we think that a complaint discloses information involving corruption, serious or systemic misconduct, serious or systemic maladministration, we must report it to the Office for Public Integrity, because of our obligations under the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012 and the Directions and Guidelines made under that Act (see the ICAC website for further information).

The ICAC Act prevents us from disclosing any information about this to any person, including a complainant, without the permission of the ICAC. Where appropriate, we will ask the ICAC’s permission to release this information to the complainant or other relevant parties.

Related information
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