An equal opportunity contact person is a staff member you appoint to help the rest of your staff with any discrimination or harassment questions or problems before they develop into bigger conflicts. Contact people confidentially support and advise staff, and act independently from unions or management. Contact people are not responsible for complaint handling, but they can assist an employer. A contact person can:
- be a first contact for staff wanting to talk about workplace discrimination or harassment.
- inform all staff about appropriate behaviours in the workplace, and the relevant policies and procedures.
- explain options to deal with a complaint and the pros and cons of those options.
- listen carefully and keep a record of actions taken.
- refer to relevant support services like the Equal Opportunity Commission or SafeWork SA.
A contact person should not:
- investigate complaints.
- mediate between a person complaining and the person being complained against.
- decide if workplace policies or procedures have been breached.
- decide if discrimination or harassment has happened.
- be managers or people who are likely to later investigate or mediate complaints.