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Temporary exemptions

If there are good reasons for treating people differently, the Equal Opportunity Tribunal may grant you an exemption from the Equal Opportunity Act.

The Tribunal conducts public hearings and can grant exemptions for up to three years.

You may be granted an exemption if your program or service aims to:

  • promote equality of opportunity between people
  • prevent certain kinds of discrimination
  • help people to participate in the economic and social life of the community.

Example

A company that serviced sanitary equipment in female toilets during office hours received an exemption to employ only women. The company was then able to advertise jobs specifically for women.

Example

A local council was exempted to recruit an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander as a Community Development Officer. The Council provided research information about the need for the services of an Indigenous person and was allowed to discriminate in favour of Indigenous applicants.

For information on how to prepare and lodge an application for an exemption with the Equal Opportunity Tribunal, see Applying for an exemption.

Some services, projects and positions will already be exempt from the Equal Opportunity Act because they are considered special measures and/or they are covered by general exemptions in the Act.

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