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Service standards

Our service standards are about the way we work with you. They explain the values - such as creativity and empathy - that shape how we deliver our services and how you can help us to keep these values.

About the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission is an independent body with responsibilities under three laws:

These laws allow us to:

  • advocate regarding equal opportunity and human rights issues
  • provide information and education about rights and responsibilities under these laws
  • help people resolve disputes about discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation, and racial and religious vilification
  • conduct research and investigations
  • intervene in legal proceedings and make submissions
  • help organisations comply with their responsibilities under these laws
  • report to the Victorian Government.

What are the values that shape our service?

When the Commission provides a service we make sure it is reflective of our ‘CARE’ values: creativity, accountability, rigour and empathy.

These values are called our service commitment. As a part of our service commitment, we commit to providing a service that is:

  • professional
  • accessible and responsive
  • independent
  • sensitive to the circumstances of individuals and communities with specific needs.

When providing our service, you can expect us to:

  • treat you with respect and courtesy
  • keep people involved in a complaint informed about its progress
  • progress enquiries and complaints in a timely manner
  • be impartial and fair to everyone involved
  • provide reasons for our decisions
  • respect your privacy and collect, store, use and disclose your personal information in accordance with privacy law.

How you can help us with our service commitment

To help us meet our service commitment to you, please:

  • treat Commission staff with respect and courtesy
  • clearly tell us what you want from us, to the best of your ability
  • tell us if you have any special requirements to access our service, such as an interpreter
  • let us know as soon as possible if your circumstances change
  • follow our reasonable requests during the process
  • give us feedback about our service so we can keep making it better. We like to hear good things too!

In very rare circumstances, if we decide someone is communicating with us in a way that is unreasonable or unacceptable, we may limit access to our service. For example, this could be that we accept contact only in writing or will only respond to specific matters that we can help with under our laws. If we decide that you are being unreasonable and that your access to our services will be limited, we will explain why and let you know what you can do if you disagree with our decision. Please read our Managing challenging and unreasonable behaviour policy for further information.

What we can and can’t help with

We can assist with many, but not all, problems about discrimination, sexual harassment and racism. This is to make sure that we comply with the Victorian laws that we work under. The laws are:

If we cannot help you, we will tell you why and try to refer you to an organisation that can.

If you think you were discriminated against but you’re not sure

If something happened to you but you’re not sure if it was discrimination, you can contact our enquiry service and we can help you determine whether what happened to you was discriminatory. To contact us please:

If you would like a face-to-face meeting with one of our Information Officers, please schedule an appointment through our Enquiry Line on 1300 292 153 or email enquiries@veohrc.vic.gov.au.

The priority for our enquiry service is to provide information to people regarding a direct experience that they had. If you are seeking general information about discrimination, victimisation, sexual harassment, racial or religious vilification, equal opportunity and human rights, we encourage you to use the information and resources available on our website.

We will respond to you as soon as reasonably possible. There are times when our team will be engaged with operational requirements and activities, such as professional development. During these times, we may not be able to respond to your enquiry immediately.

If you are making a complaint

Our dispute resolution service can help you resolve complaints. We will help you use this service effectively. A staff member called a conciliator will work with you to:

  • deliver appropriate services to help resolve your complaint
  • tell you about your rights and responsibilities under the law and answer any questions you may have
  • resolve your dispute in a respectful manner
  • keep you regularly informed about the progress of the complaint
  • provide an accessible service by recognising and supporting the special needs of individuals and groups
  • protect your personal information and only use it for the right reasons.

When we make a decision on your complaint, we will clearly explain why we have made it and what this decision means for you.

Find out more about dispute resolution.

What we cannot do

The Commission cannot handle complaints under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities (the Charter).
Complaints about breaches of the Charter can be made to the Victorian Ombudsman if it relates to a public authority, and to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission if it relates to police misconduct.

The Commission cannot provide legal advice or representation and cannot advocate for parties in court or tribunal cases.

We cannot usually help in matters outside Victoria. The Australian Human Rights Commission may be able to help you in these cases.

See our referrals page for a list of other organisations that may be able to help you.

If you need to access information

The Commission is committed to transparency and accountability. If you would like to access documents we hold, just ask the person who is helping you. If your request is straightforward, they will provide them to you. If your request is more complex (for example, if it involves a lot of documents or information about other people), they will assist you to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

If you have a complaint about our service

We are committed to constantly improving and welcome feedback about our services.

If you have a complaint about us, please let us know. We will aim to resolve it quickly and fairly.

If you are not satisfied with our service or if you have a suggestion on how we can improve, please first raise your concern with the staff member who has been assisting you.

If this does not resolve your concerns, or you are not comfortable doing this, you can ask the person’s manager to handle your complaint.

You can also complain about the Commission to the Victorian Ombudsman.

Victorian Ombudsman
Level 2, 570 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Telephone: (03) 9613 6222
Toll free: 1800 806 314 (regional only)

Published May 2019