The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission is an independent statutory authority.
The Commission can help people resolve complaints of discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation and racial and religious vilification by offering a free and impartial resolution service with the aim of achieving a mutual agreement.
The Commission is committed to fairness in complaint handling and assists parties to a complaint to access its services and participate in the complaints process. We welcome feedback on our services and use it to improve our processes.
The Commission is not a court or tribunal. We do not make judgments for or against either side, nor can we award compensation. The Commission does not act as an advocate for either party, nor does it provide legal advice.
The Commissioner, CEO and staff who deal with complaints are required to declare any conflict of interest they may have and withdraw from handling the complaint when appropriate. For example, a staff member who has a personal connection with a party to a complaint may not be involved in the Commission’s handling of that complaint.
Under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010, the Commission must keep the affairs of a person raised in a complaint confidential unless it needs to disclose information to handle the complaint. This means the Commission:
- keeps confidential its investigations and conciliation of complaints
- does not release identifying information about an individual complaint to those not involved in the complaint and will only publicly release outcomes of complaints and conciliation in a de-identified form to educate the community, and
- does not make public comments on individual complaints.
The Commission generally encourages the parties to keep complaint details confidential as this may help the parties resolve the complaint. Under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010, anything said or done during conciliation at the Commission cannot be used as evidence before a court or tribunal.