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Time limits and late complaints

There is a time limit to make a complaint. You have 12 months from the act of discrimination, sexual harassment or victimisation to lodge a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Commission.

Late complaints can be accepted if you can show that:

  • there is good reason why the complaint is late and
  • it would be fair for your complaint to be taken up despite being late.

If your complaint is late, we will ask you about both of these things and the Commissioner will decide whether she should accept your complaint. She has to consider not only whether it would be fair to you but also whether it would be fair to the person you are complaining about. If a long time has elapsed, witnesses may have forgotten the details or written records may have been lost or destroyed.

If the Commissioner does not accept your complaint because it is late, you have a right to apply to the Equal Opportunity Tribunal for a ruling that the complaint should be accepted. The person you are complaining about has a right to argue against your application.