The Equal Opportunity Act 2010 allows the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to grant temporary exemptions from the law, allowing discrimination to be legal in some circumstances.
Before you apply for an exemption you need to determine that your planned action is actually discrimination and, if so, whether the action is covered by an exception or is a special measure under the Act, or whether you need to apply for an exemption.
Asking the following questions about the action you want to take can help you decide what you need to do. They will provide a general guide about what steps you need to take so that you can lawfully undertake the activity, and minimise risks for your organisation.
You can also download our Applying for an Exemption Flowchart (PDF, 160KB).
What are you trying to achieve?
What is the action you are trying to undertake? Think about whether what you are trying to do really involves more than one action.
For example, a not-for-profit employment corporation, Start to Work Ltd, wants to create a branch dedicated to helping women who have suffered family violence undertake specialised training programs to find work in different fields.
Start to Work Ltd decides that it is appropriate to only employ women as trainers to work with women who have suffered family violence. Start to Work Ltd also wants to limit places in the specialised training program to women who have experienced family violence.
Start to Work Ltd is really trying to do two things that engage the Equal Opportunity Act 2010:
- It is seeking to limit employment for specialised trainers to women only
- It is seeking to limit places offered in the training programs to women who have suffered family violence.