All businesses are different, so it’s crucial that your equal opportunity and complaints policies reflect the specific needs, circumstances and goals of your business. However when you are developing your policies, you need to be aware of your legal rights and responsibilities, no matter the size of your business.
The Equal Opportunity Act 2010 applies to employers of all sizes, all types of workers and all stages of employment.
This law covers all types of workers, including:
- full-time, part-time and casual employees
- agents and contract workers
- trainees and apprentices.
It applies to all stages of employment, including:
- returning to work after injury or illness
- parental leave and flexible work
- dismissal or retrenchment.
An effective process for resolving complaints of discrimination, sexual harassment, bullying and victimisation in the workplace is an important part of your equal opportunity policy.
Resolving complaints quickly and fairly also is good for business. If left unaddressed, discrimination and sexual harassment can lead to increased absenteeism, low morale, reduced productivity and high staff turnover.
All complaints should be investigated promptly, fairly and confidentially, ensuring that relevant information is securely stored.
If you need further assistance, contact the Commission for advice. Employer organisations or industry associations may also be able to provide support.