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What happens when a complaint is accepted

If your complaint is accepted, we will work with you and the person or organisation your complaint is about to help you find an outcome.

Make a complaint

If your complaint is accepted by us

A conciliator will contact you to discuss your complaint and the outcome you are seeking.

The conciliator will notify the person or organisation your complaint is about (the respondent), provide them with a copy of your complaint and invite them to participate in the process. The conciliator will only provide your name to the respondent and not your personal details.

If the respondent agrees to participate, the conciliator will suggest the best type of conciliation.

Our service is free, impartial, and confidential. It is voluntary for everyone involved. It is a simple and flexible alternative to taking a complaint to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

What happens during conciliation?

Your conciliator will:

  • give all participants an opportunity to share their point of view about what happened
  • promote frank, honest, and open discussions about possible solutions
  • encourage the participants to work together to reach a mutually agreeable outcome.

Although participants may have different views, this does not mean the matter can’t be resolved. People often agree it is better to resolve a matter than leave it unresolved or pursue it in a court or tribunal.

Do I need a lawyer or advocate?

No – but you can if you want to.

Our conciliators are nationally accredited and trained.

Can I bring anyone to conciliation?

Yes, you can bring a support person to conciliation if you would like to.

A support person should be someone neutral (such as a friend or family member) who can provide you with emotional support.

What possible outcomes are there?

We cannot make findings about a matter or decisions about the outcome. Instead, our conciliators help the participants reach a mutually agreeable outcome such as:

  • an apology, statement of regret or acknowledgement of distress
  • changes to policies or practices
  • a commitment to provide equal opportunity training to staff
  • reinstating a person’s job (or terms of their job) or a service (or how it is delivered)
  • financial compensation.

If you reach an agreement, the participants may wish to record it in writing. One may agree to draft the agreement, or your conciliator can help you to draft it.

What happens if we can’t reach an agreement?

If you can’t reach an agreement, your conciliator may be able to help finalise your negotiations by shuttle negotiation (sharing information by phone or email).

If an outcome can’t be reached, we will close your complaint. However, you can still make an application to VCAT to hear and decide your matter.

More details about the complaints process

Make a complaint

You can make a complaint to us if you believe you have experienced discrimination, sexual harassment, vilification, or victimisation.

Not ready to make a complaint?

Downloadable resources

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Level 3, 204 Lygon Street Carlton Victoria 3053

General enquiries

1300 891 848

Enquiry line
1300 292 153 or (03) 9032 3583

1300 152 494

NRS Voice Relay
1300 555 727 then use 1300 292 153

Media enquiries
0447 526 642

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission acknowledges that we work on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We also work remotely and serve communities on the lands of other Traditional Custodians.

We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.