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Complaint Information Service

Fact Sheet: Respect@Work - Changes to the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 and the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986

Thursday 16 September, 2021
On 11 September 2021 the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment Act 2021 (Cth) (the Act) came into effect. The Act makes important amendments to the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) (the SDA) which were recommended by the Australian Human Rights Commission in the Respect@Work: National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces.

Translations: Fact sheet - Complaints under the Racial Discrimination Act

Thursday 30 April, 2020
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Enquiries - National Information Service

Tuesday 11 February, 2020

COVID-19 Update

Our National information Service phone line will continue to operate during this period but on restricted hours for telephone contact. From today until further notice, our phone line will operate on Monday - Friday between the hours of 10:00 AM and 1:30 PM AEST. Officers will continue to respond to email enquiries on a daily basis so email contact is preferred during this time.

Conciliation – how it works

Tuesday 7 May, 2019
Many complaints that the Australian Human Rights Commission receives are resolved through conciliation. Conciliation is an informal, flexible approach to resolving complaints – matters can be settled by an exchange of letters, a telephone negotiation between the Commission and the people involved, a telephone conciliation conference or a face to face conciliation conference. We will discuss with you the best way to try and resolve the complaint and what sort of outcome you are seeking.

The complaint process for complaints about sex, race,disability and age discrimination

Tuesday 29 January, 2019

Information for advocates and lawyers participating in conciliation

Tuesday 29 January, 2019

The Commission values the positive role that advocates and lawyers can play in conciliation. Advocates and lawyers can provide important support to parties, assist parties understand and articulate how they see the law applies to a complaint and advise parties on possible options to resolve the complaint.

Information Sheets - pre April 2017

Thursday 4 May, 2017

Fact sheets for complaints lodged before 13 April 2017


Racial Discrimination Complaints

There has been considerable public interest in the Commission’s complaint handling processes under the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986.  There has been particular interest In the Commission’s handling of complaints under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

In relation to the recent QUT case, it is a matter of public record that the Commission terminated this matter in August 2015. The Commission has had no role in the subsequent law suit in the Federal Circuit Court.

Complaints and the conciliation process

Each year the Commission undertakes roughly 1500 conciliations, and it’s a key function of the organisation.

Conciliation as part of the complaint process

Federal anti-discrimination and human rights law provides that people can make complaints to the Commission if they believe they have experienced discrimination or a violation of their human rights.

Preparing for Conciliation

Wednesday 15 April, 2015