Choosing Contact People
A small business would only require one equal opportunity contact person. Larger organisations may need a contact person in each branch, section or department. All staff should know who their contact person is.
Who makes a good contact person?
Good contact people:
- reflect the diversity and gender balance of the workplace
- are senior enough to be taken seriously
- have the confidence of the staff
- are able to deal with personal and sensitive issues
- maintain confidentiality yet can judge when an issue needs to be referred to management.
How to choose contact people
- Define the contact person role, limiting it to information and support, not complaint handling.
- Call for expressions of interest.
- Invite people recommended by staff, their union or supervisor to nominate.
- Consult with appropriate staff before appointing.
- Never force a person to take on the role.
- Ensure contact people represent your workforce and are trained.
Once you have appointed a contact person, have them trained. They can attend a contact person training course at the Equal Opportunity Commission - see Training.