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What happens if I complain?

If you lodge a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Commission, we first check that your complaint is covered under the Equal Opportunity Act. If not, then we can’t take it up. We often suggest another agency that could help.

If we can take your complaint up, we will contact the person you have complained about to see what they say. We will let you know what they tell us. Occasionally, an explanation can clear the matter up.

We then decide whether it would be useful to hold a conciliation conference where you try to work out a solution that you both agree to. About half of all our complaints are solved that way. You can find examples of solutions reached through conciliation conferences on the EOC website

If we don’t hold a conference, or no agreement is reached, then you can take your case to the Equal Opportunity Tribunal for a legally-binding decision. This process usually takes some months. The Tribunal hears evidence from witnesses and decides whether discrimination law has been broken. If it has, the Tribunal will order the person who has broken the law to do something to put things right. Possible outcomes include an apology, a compensation payment, or a change in policy or practice.