Our complaint process

Complaint Process


If one of your staff or customers lodges a complaint against you or your business, the Commission will first check if the complaint is covered by South Australian equal opportunity law. 

  • If it is not, the complaint will not be accepted.
  • If it appears the person making the complaint may have been treated unfairly under the law, we accept the complaint and allocate it to a Conciliation Officer.

The Conciliation Officer will, in most cases, organise a conciliation conference. As part of this process, they will: 

  • notify you in writing of the complaint.
  • send you a copy of the complaint and possibly will ask you for a written or verbal response.
  • gather information and relevant documents from both parties.
  • Inform you of what the complainant hopes to happen in order for their complaint to be resolved. Responding to a Complaint Factsheet

At the conciliation conference: 

  • the parties may agree to come together for conciliation and reach a private, agreed settlement.
  • you are also able to make suggestions about what you might be prepared to do to resolve the complaint.
  • the conciliator can suggest ways to settle the complaint.
  • if you and the person who made the complaint are unable to agree on a resolution, then the complaint can be referred to South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) at any time by:
  1. The person making the complaint may decide the issue is settled and withdraw their complaint. If this happens nothing more needs to be done.
  2. The Equal Opportunity Commissioner may decide not to continue with the complaint because it lacks substance, is misconceived, frivolous or vexatious.

During the process, the Equal Opportunity Commissioner:

  • cannot make a judgment on whether discrimination, harassment or victimisation occurred.
  • must make all reasonable efforts to conciliate the complaint.
  • may decide to take no further action on the complaint.
  • may refer the complaint to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal

If you are asked to provide a written response - in your response it is important to:

  • address the specific allegations
  • name and give contact details of any witnesses
  • include evidence or documents and any other relevant material.

How can I speed up the process?

  • Contact the Commission and talk to the Conciliation Officer.
  • Make available any evidence or documents.
  • Suggest relevant witnesses.
  • Seek advice from a lawyer or employers' organisation.

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).