When you lodge a complaint, the Commission first assesses it to see that it is covered by South Australian equal opportunity law. If it is not covered by the law, the Commission will advise you in writing.
If it appears that you have been treated unfairly under the law, the Commission will accept your complaint and allocate it to a Conciliation Officer.
PLEASE NOTE: If we accept or decline your complaint, we will send copies of your complaint, and other attachments forming part of your complaint, to those who you are complaining about. We will not send your personal contact details to those who you are complaining about.
The Conciliation Officer will, in most cases, organise a conciliation conference. As part of this process, they will:
- notify the person or organisation (the respondent) you are complaining about, and may ask for a written or verbal response to the complaint.
- gather information and relevant documents about the complaint.
- ask you what you would like to happen to resolve your complaint, and provide that to the other party.
At the conciliation conference:
- the parties may agree to come together for conciliation and reach a private, agreed settlement.
- the other party is able to make suggestions about what they might be prepared to do to resolve your complaint.
- the conciliator can suggest ways to resolve the complaint.
- if the parties are unable to agree on a resolution then your complaint can be referred to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) (the Tribunal).
At any time:
- You may decide the issue is settled and withdraw your complaint. If this happens nothing more needs to be done.
- The Equal Opportunity Commissioner may decide not to continue with the complaint because it lacks substance, is misconceived, frivolous or vexatious.
We will at all times, keep the parties informed of the progress of the complaint.
During the process, the Equal Opportunity Commissioner:
- cannot make a judgement on whether discrimination, harassment or victimisation occurred.
- may refer the complaint to the Tribunal.
Our process is free, impartial and confidential.
If, at any stage, we think that a complaint discloses information involving corruption, serious or systemic misconduct, serious or systemic maladministration, we must report it to the Office for Public Integrity, because of our obligations under the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012 and the Directions and Guidelines made under that Act (see the ICAC website for further information).
The ICAC Act prevents us from disclosing any information about this to any person, including a complainant, without the permission of the ICAC. Where appropriate, we will ask the ICAC’s permission to release this information to the complainant or other relevant parties.