How we handle complaints

Certain types of discrimination are against the law in specific areas of public life in New South Wales. Sexual harassment, vilification and victimisation are also against the law. If you have experienced a type of discrimination, sexual harassment, vilification or victimisation covered by the law, you can make a complaint to us.

Access our complaint forms.

Resolving your own complaint

If it is appropriate, you could first try to talk to the person or organisation that you feel has discriminated against you. You could also seek assistance to do this, such as through your union or a group of people in your situation. You can also ask the organisation that treated you unfairly if they have an internal complaint process where you can make your complaint. If you are not satisfied with this process, or you don’t want to deal with them direct, you can contact us.

What we can do

We handle complaints of discrimination covered by the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977. If you make a complaint to us, we will try to help you and the other party find a way of resolving the matter according to the law. If you make a complaint to us, you will need to be involved in the process.

If the allegations in your complaint appear to be covered by the Act, we will conduct an impartial and confidential investigation. 

What we do with your complaint

We will contact you by phone or letter within two weeks of getting your complaint. When we talk to you, we might ask for any other information we need, and we will discuss how we will handle your complaint.

The person you are complaining about is called the respondent. We will send the respondent a copy of your complaint and any information you have provided, along with a letter from us explaining the law. The respondent will then have a chance to provide a response.

If this doesn't resolve the situation, we sometimes hold a meeting between you and the respondent, this is called a conciliation conference. We might also have further discussions by phone, email or letter. 

Complaints are often resolved through conciliation. 

Complaints can also be discontinued, declined, or withdrawn. 

We can't take sides or give you legal advice. We also do not make a determination about whether discrimination has occurred or not, and we do not have any powers to impose penalties or make orders to resolve a complaint.

If we can't help you resolve the matter, you might be able to take your complaint to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Victimising you for making a complaint is unlawful

It is against the law for anyone to treat you unfairly because you have made (or plan to make) a complaint of discrimination or because you have provided information or evidence about a complaint. This is called victimisation.

If you feel like you are being victimised, you should immediately talk to one of our officers.

Last updated:

22 Nov 2021

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We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the ongoing connection Aboriginal people have to this land and recognise Aboriginal people as the original custodians of this land.

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