EOC Annual Report 1994/95 1 The Honourable Jan Wade Attorney-General 200 Queen Street MELBOURNE Dear Attorney-General, I am pleased to present to you the Annual Report of the Equal Opportunity Commission Victoria for the year ended 30 June 1995. This report records the first full year of the current Commission’s operations. Highlights for the Commission in 1994/95 included • the elimination of the backlog of complaints lodged prior to the 1993 legislative amendments • the introduction of a streamlined and procedurally fair complaints resolution service • receiving a delegation from the federal Disability Discrimination Commissioner to receive complaints made in Victoria under the federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992 • the commencement of Information and Education initiatives aimed at key groups including employers and equal opportunity practitioners. Yours sincerely, Virginia Rogers Chairperson EQUAL OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, VICTORIA EOC Annual Report 1994/95 2 CONTENTS 1. Mission Statement and Equal Opportunity Law in Victoria Page 3 2. The Equal Opportunity Commission Page 4 3. Chairperson’s Message Page 5 4. Chief Executive’s Report Page 7 5. Law and Policy Page 9 6. Information and Education Page 13 7. Complaint Resolution Page 16 8. Appendices Page 20 Appendix 1: Commission Members and Staff at 30 June 1995 Appendix 2: Commission Budget at 30 June 1995 Appendix 3: Enquiries and Complaints Tables Table 1. 1994/95 Enquiries by Grounds and Financial Year (All Acts) Table 2. Complaints by Area, Ground and Financial Year (All Acts) Table 3. Complaints by Area and Financial Year (All Acts) Table 4. Complaints by Ground and Financial Year (All Acts) Table 5. Complaints by Gender and Financial Year Table 6. Complaints by Area, Gender and Financial Year Table 7. Complaints by Ground, Gender and Financial Year Table 8. Complaints by Statute and Financial Year Appendix 4: Available Publications EOC Annual Report 1994/95 3 1. MISSION STATEMENT AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY LAW IN VICTORIA Mission Statement The Equal Opportunity Commission Victoria promotes equal opportunity and works to eliminate unlawful discrimination in Victoria by providing • A fair, impartial and low cost complaint resolution service • Information and education about equal opportunity rights and responsibilities. Equal Opportunity Law in Victoria The Commission receives and finalises complaints made under the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (to be replaced by the Equal Opportunity Act 1995 which is yet to proclaimed). The Commission’s Chairperson and the Chief Executive also have delegations from the federal Race and Disability Discrimination Commissioners to investigate and conciliate complaints made in Victoria under the • federal Racial Discrimination Act 1975 • federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992. The Chief Executive also has a delegation from the federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner to receive complaints made in Victoria under the federal Sex Discrimination Act 1984. This means that, in effect, all complaints of discrimination in Victoria are received by the Commission. Under the state and federal legislation listed above, it's unlawful in Victoria to sexually harass or treat anyone unfairly because of their • sex • race • disability • marital or parental status • religious and political beliefs or activities In the areas of • employment • education • accommodation • goods and services • clubs and associations New provisions contained in the Equal Opportunity Act 1995, making discrimination unlawful on the basis of age, lawful sexual activity, pregnancy, industrial activity, physical features and personal association and widening some existing areas in the 1984 Act, are expected to come into force in 1996. Discrimination can occur whether or not the person has, or is assumed to have, an attribute or personal characteristic at the time the discrimination occurs or sometime in the past. Discrimination can be direct or indirect, and can lead to victimisation which is also unlawful. Direct discrimination means treating another less favourably on the basis of an attribute or personal characteristic covered by equal opportunity law. Indirect discrimination means imposing an unreasonable practice, requirement or condition that can only be complied with by a higher proportion of people without the attribute. Victimisation means treating someone unfairly because they have taken action under equal opportunity law. EOC Annual Report 1994/95 4 2. THE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION The Equal Opportunity Commission Victoria is a statutory body that reports to the Victorian Parliament through the Attorney-General. The Commission is composed of four part-time members, one of whom is the Chairperson, and one full-time member who is also the Chief Executive. The Commission meets weekly to assess individual complaints made under State legislation, and to set directions for encouraging equal opportunity and eliminating discrimination in Victoria. All Commission members frequently address, and represent the Commission at, equal opportunity and human rights-related events and functions. Commission members Virginia Rogers, Chairperson Through her work as an independent councillor for the City of St Kilda and currently as a Commissioner for the City of Glen Eira, Virginia has extensive involvement with the issues faced by culturally and socially diverse communities. A lawyer with broad experience in both major corporations and private practice, Virgina is a past president of the Corporate Lawyers Association, an honours graduate in law and holds a diploma in commercial law. Diane Sisely, Chief Executive Diane has spent many years developing and managing service programs for both the public and non-government sectors. Before joining the Commission, Diane was Director, Consultation and Policy for the Victorian Department of Transport and Director of Community Service Victoria's Home and Community Support Program. In these and other positions, she worked closely with a broad cross section of the community, including people from non-English speaking backgrounds, older people and people with disabilities. Diane holds a PhD and BA with honours in sociology. Regina Fuster, Member As a member of both the Victorian Ethnic Affairs Commission and the Immigration Review Tribunal, Regina has worked closely with diverse cultural, ethnic and social groups. She has also been active in improving public access to dispute resolution bodies and processes through her service with the Residential Tenancies Tribunal, the Small Claims Tribunal and the Credit Tribunal. Regina has a BA in Psychology and a Diploma of Education. Michael Gorton, Member Michael is a partner in Russell Kennedy Solicitors and actively involved in human rights issues through his membership of the Law Institute’s Human Rights Committee and in his capacity as vice-president of the United Nations Association of Australia. A board member of the Association for the Blind, Michael holds degrees in law and economics. Daphne Milward, Member Currently a consultant specialising in cross-cultural awareness programs for the public and private sector, Daphne has spent many years running cross-cultural training and recruitment programs for various Victorian and Commonwealth Boards and Departments. Most recently she managed Aboriginal training and employment programs for the Department of Employment, Education and Training. Daphne is also a member of the board of the Victorian Women’s Trust. EOC Annual Report 1994/95 5 3. CHAIRPERSON’S REPORT It is just over a year since the current members of the Commission met for the first time. This is the first annual report of our activities. I am proud of the effort made, and the results achieved, by my fellow members and all staff, often in difficult circumstances. In last year's report I said that the broad directions of the Commission for the 1994/95 year were clear. Our main priority had to be the elimination of the complaints backlog. At the beginning of the year, the Commission had a backlog of 550 cases, some of which had been waiting over 12 months to be assigned to an investigator. Such lengthy delays between the receipt of a complaint and any action being taken often cause unnecessary stress and anxiety for all concerned. It also often made it much harder to resolve the complaint because parties had become more entrenched in their positions, and the delay hindered, or prevented, full investigation. I am now pleased to report that this backlog has now been eliminated. All complaints which made up the backlog have now been investigated, conciliated, declined, otherwise finalised or are pending conciliation. This was achieved with the aid of one-off funding which allowed the Commission to temporarily bring in additional staff, and much hard work by existing staff. I am also pleased to be able to report that, despite a substantial increase in the number of complaints received by the Commission in 1994/95, all new complaints made under the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 1984 are investigated within 60 days of being lodged. The majority of these cases have a date set for conciliation within three months of being investigated. In last year's report, I said that we must firmly establish the Commission's complaint resolution service as one that all Victorians value and respect. It must be fair and impartial and it must provide an effective, low cost service for everyone - complainants, respondents, the public, employers and government. With this objective in mind, the Commission spent much time during the year on operational issues. Both the Commission's structure and its processes were reviewed, a new complaints resolution service was introduced and a 3 year business plan was developed. We believe that the attention paid to these matters ensures that the Commission is ready to meet the challenges of the coming year. These challenges include • implementing the new Equal Opportunity Act 1995 (which is discussed in detail in this annual report) • making sure that all sectors of the community understand their rights and responsibilities under the new Act • stemming the continued rise in complaints by reducing the incidence of discrimination through education and preventive programs. The number of complaints made under equal opportunity legislation has increased every year since the legislation was first introduced in 1977. Complaints received by the Commission in 1994/95, including those received under the federal Disability Discrimination Act, increased by 68% over the previous year, and the Commission expects a further increase in complaints for 1995/96. While we view the continued increases as a matter of concern, we do not believe that these increases reflect a significant rise in the incidence of discrimination. Rather the current increases are due to a number of factors including • an additional delegation from the federal Disability Discrimination Commissioner to handle complaints made under the federal Disability Discrimination Act • increased awareness by the community of their rights under equal opportunity, and an increased willingness to exercise these rights. The Commission also anticipates a further increase in complaints in 1995/96 and beyond as new grounds for discrimination will be added to existing ones when the Equal Opportunity Act 1995 comes into force. In the coming year, the Commission will place much greater emphasis on education and prevention. We must lay the foundation now to halt the continued increase in complaints and, over time, reduce discrimination and consequently the number of complaints. The Commission does not underestimate the enormity of the task we have set ourselves. We must not be complacent. We must continue to review and improve our processes, listen to and work co-operatively with all sectors of the community, seize opportunities when they present themselves and be ready to learn from others. EOC Annual Report 1994/95 6 When the Commission heard that the Chairman of the United Kingdom's Commission for Racial Equality, Herman Ouseley, was to visit Australia to address the United Nation's Conference on Cultural Diversity in Sydney during April 1995, we invited Mr Ouseley to Melbourne. He provided the keynote address at a seminar, "Strategies Against Racism", organised by the Commission. Mr Ouseley’s visit provided us with an excellent opportunity to build stronger links with one of the UK's most important equal opportunity bodies and to draw upon its extensive experience in dealing with discrimination in multicultural societies. In particular, the knowledge and strategies provided by Mr Ouseley about the Commission for Racial Equality's "Let's Kick Racism Out Of Football" campaign proved very useful when racism in the Australian Football League became a high profile issue a month later. In collaboration with the federal Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, the AFL, AFL clubs and the players themselves, the Commission helped draw up new rules for the sport, making racial and religious vilification unlawful on the field, and set up a process for resolving all future allegations of on-field racial and religious abuse. Our priorities for 1995/96 are to • mount a major information campaign to inform the community about their new rights and responsibilities under the Equal Opportunity Act 1995 • closely monitor the implementation of the 1995 Act • continue to improve the complaints resolution process • work more closely and effectively with key groups directly affected by equal opportunity issues including employer associations and unions, equal opportunity practitioners, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and people of non-English speaking backgrounds. Finally, and on behalf of all the Commission members, I would like to thank the staff of the Commission for their dedication during what has been a very extensive period of reorganisation. The Commission could not have achieved what it has so far without the hard work of its staff and their commitment to the principles and practice of equal opportunity. EOC Annual Report 1994/95 7 4. CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S REPORT The last year has seen an extensive and exhaustive effort by Commission members and staff to firmly establish the Commission as Victoria's most effective organisation for promoting equal opportunity and combating discrimination and I'm pleased to report that this effort is now showing some significant results. The Disability Discrimination Act 1993 From 1 January 1995, the Commission became responsible for handling all complaints of disability discrimination made in Victoria under the federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992 as well as its existing responsibility for resolving disability complaints made under state legislation. Almost 60% of these disability complaints received by the Commission in 1994/95 had already been lodged with the Disability Discrimination Commissioner over the previous 2 years and were transferred to the Commission at the beginning of 1995 under the delegation. The remainder received under the delegation were then lodged directly with the Commission up until the end of the 1994/95 year. Under this delegation from the Commonwealth, additional funds have been made available to the Commission to help handle the increased workload. For Victorians, the delegation means that they are now able to have all complaints of unlawful discrimination on the basis of disability lodged, no matter what Act they fall under, with the Commission. Overview of complaints and enquiries in 1994/95 In 1994/95, the Commission recorded a 31% rise in complaints on 1993/94 figures. When complaints of disability discrimination made under the federal delegation are also taken into account, the overall increase in complaints rises to 68%. A total of 2708 complaints were received in 1994/95 with 1049 (39%) being made under the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 1984. The Commission finalised 1844 complaints in 1994/95, a 57 % increase on the 1993/94 figure of 1176. As in 1993/94, employment continued to be the biggest area of complaints, accounting for 75% of all complaints received by the Commission. However this was 12% less than in 1993/94. Goods and services was the next largest area of complaints, making up 17% of all complaints made, an increase of 8% on 1993/94. All these figures include complaints received under the delegation from the federal Disability Discrimination Commissioner. The biggest ground for complaint in 1994/95 was disability, making up 29% of all complaints received. Disability complaints made under the federal Disability Discrimination Act accounted for 22% of total complaints while the other 7% came from complaints made under state legislation. Other major grounds for complaint included sexual harassment (19%), sex discrimination (17%) and race (15%). Enquiries made to the Commission about possible cases of discrimination and equal opportunity issues also rose significantly, up 16% from 1993/94 to 18,077 in 1994/95. Information and education The Commission made a strategic decision in 1994/95 to focus most of its limited resources on the elimination of the complaints backlog and the introduction of the new complaint resolution service. Only when these objectives were in place were we able to concentrate on building up our information and education services and delivering a wider range of preventative education programs. Despite this, a number of information and education programs were undertaken in 1994/95. Highlights included • the 'Strategies Against Racism’ seminar held at Parliament House in April 1995 • the launch of the 'Best Person For The Job' training kit for employers at the 'Doing Business With Government' expo in March 1995 • a series of seminars for lawyers working in equal opportunity, held at the Law Institute in May and June 1995. Given that in 1993/94, 87% of all complaints were employment related, we have been working closely with key employer groups such as the Australian Chamber of Manufactures and the Victorian Employer Chamber of EOC Annual Report 1994/95 8 Commerce and Industry to inform employers about their equal opportunity responsibilities in an effort to reduce this unacceptably high level of complaints. The main messages that we are sending are • workplaces that have effective equal opportunity policies and procedures in place are more productive • employers need to be aware of the clear responsibilities, as well as the rights, they have under equal opportunity legislation • prevention rather than resolution of complaints of discrimination or sexual harassment is more cost effective and better for staff morale. For 1995/96, the main focus of the Commission's information and education programs will be on ensuring that the community is fully informed about the new rights and responsibilities under the new Equal Opportunity Act 1995. Corporate Services Another major step forward has been the development of a three year business plan which will take the Commission through to 1997/98. This business plan clearly sets out overall strategic directions for the Commission, establishes demand management plans and benchmarks for measuring the effectiveness of Commission services and programs. The business plan will be used in negotiating on-going service and funding agreements with both the state and federal governments. The Commission's organisational structure is now firmly in place, with our four main areas of activity, Complaint Resolution, Information and Education, Law and Policy and Corporate Services, now operating as individual, but complementary, branches with clearly defined roles and responsibilities. A new corporate identity was also introduced for the Commission in late 1994 which has now been applied to all publications and stationery. This corporate identity, featuring a visually striking logo, the new corporate colours of plum and ochre and standardised typefaces, reflects the Commission's renewed focus on providing a high quality and consistent level of service for all its clients. New computers and software networks were installed towards the end of 1994/95 which will provide a significant boost to overall productivity and a number of options for a new case management software system are now being assessed. Funding has also been secured for a new, more effective telephone system to be installed once the Commission moves to new premises. Our planned move to new premises, made even more necessary by a planned expansion of Commission staff over 1995/96 to implement the new Act, is expected to take place sometime in the first half of 1996. Finally, I’d like to say that, as busy as 1994/95 has been, I anticipate that the coming year will be even more challenging and productive for the Commission. I'm confident that we will be able to handle what the future holds because of our most important resource, the staff of the Commission. Their hard work and willingness to go that extra mile has been unfailing and I both thank them and look forward to continuing to work with them to further improve all Victorians' right to a fair go. EOC Annual Report 1994/95 9 5. LAW AND POLICY The role of the Commission’s Law and Policy branch is to • research and interpret state and federal equal opportunity legislation and its impact on the community and the operations of the Commission • identify potentially discriminatory legislation • establish policies and guidelines for complaints where legal issues are unclear • provide legal support for the Commission. The Equal Opportunity Act 1995 The most important law and policy issue in 1994/95 for the Commission has been the Equal Opportunity Act 1995, passed by both Houses of the Victorian Parliament on 1 June 1995. The 1995 Act contains the most significant and substantive changes to Victorian equal opportunity legislation since the Equal Opportunity Act 1984. The 1995 Act both widens the Commission's areas of responsibility and affects procedures for resolving complaints. Major substantive changes include making it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of age, industrial activity and lawful sexual activity, expansion of the sexual harassment provisions and areas of a person’s public life in which discrimination is unlawful, such as sport and the disposal of land. Major procedural changes include • streamlining procedures for complaints lodged more than 12 months after the discrimination was alleged to have occurred • registration of conciliation agreements with the Equal Opportunity Board (to be renamed the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal) • the ability for complainants and respondents to have their complaints expedited under certain circumstances. 1995 Act compared with prior legislation Attributes EO Act EO Act EO Act EO Act 1977 1982 1984 1995 Age Carer status De facto spouse status Disability Industrial activity Lawful sexual activity Marital/parental status Personal association Physical features Political belief/ activity Pregnancy* Race Religious belief/activity Sex Sexual harassment *Previously heard under sex discrimination provisions, this is now listed as a separate attribute under the 1995 Act Areas EO Act EO Act EO Act EO Act 1977 1982 1984 1995 Accommodation Clubs/associations Disposal of land Education Employment Goods and services Sport Substantive Changes EOC Annual Report 1994/95 10 Grounds are characteristics of a person - her/his physical or cultural status, background or beliefs - that could form a basis for discrimination. The 1995 Act introduces a number of new grounds, renamed ‘attributes’, and extends some existing ones. The changes are as follows • Age. This covers all areas of a person’s public life and abolishes compulsory retirement. • Carer status. A carer is someone on whom another is wholly or substantially dependent for ongoing care and attention Industrial activity. This is defined as: • (a) being a member or joining on a substantially non-commercial basis. Carers are not confined to family members. or not being a member or refusing to join an organisation of employees, employers or any other organisation established for people involved in a particular industry, trade, profession, business or means of employment. (b) participating in, not participating in or refusing to participate in a lawful activity organised or promoted by an industrial organisation. Lawful sexual activity. Includes either taking part in or not taking part or refusing to take part in any form of sexual activity not prohibited by Victorian law. This is intended to cover homosexuals, lesbians and heterosexuals, legal prostitution and people perceived to fall into one of these groups. The perception of sexual activity will also cover characteristics or identities that are associated with sexual preference. This provision does not cover unlawful sexual activities such as paedophilia, incest or sexual assault, regardless of the gender or sexual preference of the person claiming discrimination. • Marital and parental status. Parental status now includes foster parents and guardians. • Personal association. This means association or imputed association with someone either possessing or imputed to possess attributes covered by the 1995 Act. • Physical features. These are defined as features beyond a person's control such as their height, weight, size or other bodily characteristics. It is not intended to cover self-imposed physical features like tattoos and body piercing. • Pregnancy. This is now specifically covered by legislation. In the past complaints of discrimination were dealt with as cases of sex discrimination under the 1984 Act on the ground that it was an attribute unique to women. • Race. This now includes descent and ancestry. Other changes introduced by the 1995 Act include exemptions for employers allowing them to set reasonable standards of dress, behaviour and appearance and, if they employ the equivalent of five employees, other than relatives, on a full time basis, to discriminate in offering employment and/or limit the offering of employment to family members. However, partnerships of 5 or more can no longer discriminate in deciding who should become a partner or the terms on which they are invited. However employers are not exempt from other provisions of the Act such as sexual harassment. The sexual harassment provisions have been extended to make this behaviour unlawful not only when committed by an employer or supervisor but also when committed by fellow employees. It will also be unlawful to commit sexual harassment in common workplaces regardless of a person's status as employer, employee or contractor and regardless of whether they work for the same employer or not. Other areas under the new Act where sexual harassment is specifically mentioned as unlawful are • education, whether between teachers and students or between students • religious bodies • in the selection, supply or receipt of goods and services whether they are provided or received for payment or not. Procedural changes • Extensions of time. Complaints relating to incidents that occurred more than 12 months prior to the date of lodging will no longer need to go through a separate extension of time process. A delay of more than 12 months in lodging a complaint will now be a basis for the Commission declining a complaint. • Expedition of complaints. Both complainants and respondents will be able apply to the Commission for a complaint to be expedited. The Commission can only expedite a complaint at the request of a complainant if it considers the complaint to be conciliable, and if there are special circumstances that require a fast resolution. Special circumstances must be taken to exist if the complaint relates to a health-based emergency matter or EOC Annual Report 1994/95 11 continuing sexual harassment. The Commission may only expedite a complaint at request of the respondent if the complaint relates to a policy decision made by the respondent that is alleged to be discriminatory. Both parties can apply to the Tribunal to have an expedited complaint referred for hearing without conciliation. • Lapsed complaints. The Commission may now dismiss a complaint if it has had no substantive response from the complainant within 12 months. • Referrals. Once a complaint has been declined or if it appears not able to be conciliated and the complainant has been notified, the complainant has 60 days to request a referral to the Tribunal. If this does not occur, the Commission may dismiss the complaint. • Special complaints. The 1995 Act also introduces the category of special complaints. A special complaint is one that - has been referred to the Tribunal by the Minister; or - may have significant social, economic or financial effects on the community or a section of the community; or - involves issues of a particular complexity that when resolved may establish important precedents for the interpretation or implementation of the 1995 Act. If a party or the Attorney-General considers that a complaint is a special complaint, it may request that the Tribunal refer it to the Supreme Court to determine whether it is a special complaint. If the Supreme Court does make this determination, it must hear the complaint. If the Supreme Court does not make a determination that the complaint is a special complaint, the complaint must be referred back to the Tribunal and the party which requested the referral must pay the referral costs. The Supreme Court's decision can be appealed by either party on a question of law within 30 days. • Conciliation agreements. These will be certified by the Commission's Chief Executive. Either party may then lodge a copy of the agreement with the Registrar of the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal. The agreement will then be taken to be a legally binding order of the Tribunal. Implementing the Act One of the most important tasks for the Commission in 1995/96 will be implementing the new Act. This includes developing a consistent approach to interpreting and implementing the legislation. In doing this, the Commission will be guided by the Act’s objectives which are to • promote recognition and acceptance of everyone’s right to equality of opportunity • eliminate as far as possible, discrimination against people by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of various attributes • eliminate as far as possible, sexual harassment • provide redress for people who have been discriminated against or sexually harassed. It is with these objectives, and the Attorney General’s second reading speech of the Equal Opportunity Bill in Parliament, in mind that the Commission will interpret provisions of the Act. Approach to Exceptions Exceptions are more clearly identified in the new Act and the onus is now on persons or organisations claiming an exception to demonstrate to the Commission that it applies to their circumstances. There are a number of key terms in the Act relating to the application of exceptions and the Commission is developing what it regards as fair and workable definitions of them that it will use when assessing complaints. These terms include the following. • Reasonable. This term appears in various exceptions to provisions in the new Act. It is a relative term, and the facts of a case must be considered before reasonableness can be determined. The criteria upon which a decision is made must be objective. The term reasonable was considered by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. AT in the appeal of Broken Hill Associated Smelters v Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) (1990), “ The proper course... is to ascertain the underlying reasons...and to ask whether, having regard to the discriminatory effects...and considering the question in a practical and not merely theoretical way, it is, under all the circumstances, objectively justified.” On this basis, the Commission believes that the reason for the standard, condition or requirement needs to be weighed against the nature and extent of the discriminatory effect to see if it is justified in the circumstances. A requirement which is merely for business convenience or because “things have always been done that way” is unlikely to be reasonable. EOC Annual Report 1994/95 12 • Rational. Rational is also used in a number of exceptions, for example in discriminating in the employment of professional child carers or workers. To invoke this exception the employer, amongst other requirements, must have a rational basis for a belief that someone is a risk to the well being of the children. Rational is defined as agreeable to reason, reasonable or sensible. The test of rationality is therefore objective and will be applied in such a way by the Commission in its investigation processes. • Genuine. In the new Act, the term genuine is used in several different ways. It appears in the context of genuine religious belief as a basis for exception from provisions covering areas such as employment. The term genuine does not appear to have been judicially defined, however clearly the belief must be truly, authentically and sincerely held. This is obviously a subjective test. To demonstrate the holding of such a genuine belief, a person would need to be able to demonstrate that she or he practises the religion and applies the behaviour or requirement to all people, not just one person. Genuine is also used in relation to occupational requirements, terms of employment and requirements of partnership in firms. Genuine occupational requirements could include the necessity of having particular physical characteristics (other than strength or stamina), preservation of decency or privacy in relation to the fitting of clothes, conducting body searches, entering lavatories and entering areas where people are in a state of undress. Here the decision as to whether behaviour or requirements are genuinely necessary would require evidence as to the requirements of the job, skills requested of a position and how they were assessed. Reference groups The Commission will have a valuable opportunity to monitor the implementation of this major piece of equal opportunity legislation from its first day of introduction to see how it achieves its objectives. As part of the monitoring process, the Commission will establish reference groups drawn from various sectors of the community most likely to be affected by the new Act such as small and large employers, people with disabilities, Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders, older people, younger people, gay men and lesbians and people of non-English speaking backgrounds. EOC Annual Report 1994/95 13 6. INFORMATION AND EDUCATION The Commission’s Information and Education branch • responds to telephone and written enquiries about equal opportunity issues • organises education and training programs targeted at key groups including a Koorie Outreach Program • responds to requests for speakers on equal opportunity issues and practices • produces brochures, posters and other publications • coordinates media and marketing activities. Enquiries Telephone and written enquiries provide useful information about perceived levels of discrimination in the community and trends in equal opportunity issues. The majority of enquiries in 1994/95 were from members of the public seeking advice on whether equal opportunity legislation covered what had happened or was happening to them. A smaller, but still significant, number of enquiries was for general information about anti-discrimination legislation and the Commission itself. If an enquiry appears to be about a case of discrimination that may fall within the Commission's jurisdiction, the Information and Education staff refer the person to the Commission’s complaint resolution branch. Whenever appropriate or possible, information and education staff inform people making enquiries about the various steps that they can take themselves to sort the issue out. If the enquiry is about matters outside the Commission’s jurisdiction, staff will provide information about other bodies such as Jobwatch, the Maternity Leave Hotline and the Centre Against Aggravated Sexual Assault that might be able to help. The Information and Education branch dealt with 18,077 enquiries in 1994/95, a 16% increase on the 1993/94 figure of 15,605. Approximately one third of these were seeking general information, including requests for information by students (slightly above 11% of total enquiries), enquiries about general equal opportunity issues such as workplace policies and practices (again just over 11% of the total) and enquiries about matters outside the Commission's jurisdiction (roughly 10% of total enquiries). The highest number of enquiries about a specific issue of discrimination was for sexual harassment (14%) followed by sex discrimination (11%). However this last figure was 6% less than in 1993/94, the largest single decrease in enquiries about a specific issue. While dealing with these enquiries, Information and Education staff noted what seemed to be an increasing awareness by the community of their rights under equal opportunity law and of the avenues of redress open to them. Anecdotal evidence appears to indicate that this trend could be due to a number of high-profile incidents of discrimination covered in the media and in several popular film and TV productions. To make an enquiry, call: 03 9602 3222 1800 134 142 (Country callers) 03 9670 1951 (TTY) Or write to: Equal Opportunity Commission 4th Floor, 356 Collins St Melbourne 3000 Or visit the Commission at the above address. Interpreters and Koorie staff available on request. Education and training programs EOC Annual Report 1994/95 14 Despite the overriding priority on eliminating the complaint backlog and implementing the new complaint process, the Commission was able to hold a number of information and education events including the following. • Two seminars in May and June 1995 for lawyers working in equal opportunity. Held in conjunction with the Law Institute of Victoria at their offices, the seminars featured Commission members and senior staff discussing all aspects of the Commission's complaints resolution service. Both seminars closed with a "hypothetical" designed to take all seminar participants through every stage of a fictional complaint based on actual Commission cases. • “Strategies Against Racism”, a seminar at Parliament House in late April 1995 which was addressed by Herman Ouseley, Chairman of the UK’s Commission for Racial Equality, Zita Antonios, the federal Race Discrimination Commissioner and Equal Opportunity Commission members. • The breakfast launch, in conjunction with the federal Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, of the “Best Person For The Job” employers training package at the “Doing Business With Government” Expo in early April at the Royal Exhibition Building. Koorie Outreach Program The Commission’s Koorie outreach program, which has now been operating for six years, provides education and information to the Koorie community about equal opportunity rights and responsibilities. The program also provides cross-cultural awareness training for employers and service organisations and handles complaints made by members of the Koorie Community. Program staff worked with a number of Koorie communities throughout Victoria in 1994/95 including • Coranderrk Koorie Co-operative • Dandenong District Co-operative • the Eastern District Koorie Community • the Gippsland District Koorie Community. Workplans were also developed in late 1994/95 for two Reconciliation Projects. These initiatives aim to improve awareness by the Koorie community of all equal opportunity rights and responsibilities and the Commission’s understanding of the level and type of discrimination faced by different sectors of the Koorie community. The Projects will involve a statewide conference, an extensive program of community visits, review of complaints made to the Commission by the Koorie community and development of resource kits. Public forums/speaking engagements In 1994/95, Commission members and staff addressed 63 events organised by individual employers, employer groups, educational institutions, equal opportunity practitioners, groups representing people of non-English speaking backgrounds, state and federal government bodies and disability support groups. Some of the groups addressed and topics covered by Commission members and staff over the last year were • Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry - Discrimination law and dismissals • Melbourne University Law School - Disability discrimination and provision of medical services • Dandenong Adult Migrant Education Centre - Equal opportunity for people of non-English speaking backgrounds • Department of Defence - Equal opportunity in employment • Warrambool Aboriginal Co-op - Equal opportunity rights and responsibilities • Victorian Workcover Authority - Equal opportunity in employment • Rooming House Tenants Association - Disability and accommodation rights • Victorian Superannuation Board - Equal opportunity in business • Hoteliers Training Course - Equal opportunity in employment • Retail Traders Association - Equality opportunity on employment and goods and services • Law Institute of Victoria - Complaint resolution • La Trobe University - Dispute resolution • Adcorp - Equal opportunity practices in staff recruitment • International Bar Association Conference - Sexual harassment in employment Plans for 1995/96 One of the major activities planned for the coming year is a series of public forums to be held around Victoria to advise people about their new rights and responsibilities under the Equal Opportunity Act 1995. This will be EOC Annual Report 1994/95 15 complemented by seminars and training programs aimed at groups most likely to be affected by the Act. These groups, and the reasons why they will be priority, are as follows. • Employers, accommodation providers, clubs and associations and other providers of goods and services to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities and take the appropriate steps to prevent discrimination. • Equal opportunity practitioners, lawyers, advocates and community service providers, who will be required to advise potential complainants and respondents. • Potential complainants, particularly those with attributes that will covered for the first time by the new Act. • People from non-English speaking backgrounds and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, two groups that are often the targets of discrimination but who have often been unaware of or uncertain about how to make anti- discrimination law work for them. The Commission’s range of publications including brochures, guidelines and posters will be updated and expanded to cover all aspects of the 1995 Act. Comprehensive guides to equal opportunity policies and practices will also be produced for employers, providers of goods and services, real estate agents and landlords and clubs and associations. Use of electronic media such as e-mail, the Internet and CD-Rom to deliver information and education programs will also be explored. Other information and education initiatives for 1995/96 include a Partnership Program that will offer equal opportunity practitioners the means of developing a close and ongoing working relationship with the Commission. A media strategy to ensure that the Commission’s key messages are clearly and effectively communicated to both mass and specialist media, is also planned. A proposal to raise corporate sponsorship to fund a public awareness advertising campaign is also under consideration. The campaign would be aimed at changing community attitudes towards discriminatory behaviour. In order to reach wider audiences and make best use of available resources, the Information and Education branch is developing a fees policy to partially recover costs expected to be generated by a planned expansion of information and education programs and events. It’s anticipated that fees will be charged in particular circumstances such as for the provision of specialist information seminars or training programs that deliver specific benefits for particular organisations. General information and education material, programs and services will still continue to be offered at no cost in most circumstances. EOC Annual Report 1994/95 16 7. COMPLAINT RESOLUTION How the Complaint Resolution Process works Initial Enquiry ê Prelodgement Officer discusses details with complainant. Written complaint received and assessment of jurisdiction made. Complainant elects to lodge under either state or federal legislation. ê Investigation Respondent is notified of complaint in writing. Investigator interviews respondent. Witnesses may be interviewed and documents gathered. ê Complaint declined if not substantiated. (review referral/option available) ê Conciliation Conciliator facilitates discussion between parties. Acceptable solutions are negotiated. ê If no settlement is agreed upon, complaint may be referred for public hearing by the Equal Opportunity Board or the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. The new complaint resolution process On 1 January 1995, the Commission introduced a new streamlined complaint resolution process designed to provide a fair and impartial complaint resolution service that is low cost and timely for all parties. This process also enables the Commission to meet its responsibility to assist people to formulate their complaints. To ensure impartiality and fairness for all parties, lodgement, investigation and conciliation are handled by different staff. The new service involves four stages, pre-lodgement, investigation, conciliation and review/referral and is designed to identify and screen out complaints that are outside jurisdiction, lacking in substance, misconceived, frivolous or vexatious, at the earliest appropriate stage. Prelodgement. The Commission has a legislative responsibility to help complainants formulate their complaints. Experience shows that the better formulated a complaint, the easier it is for all involved to handle. When a person first makes a complaint, information is collected about the complaint on a standard form. Complaints which are not within the Commission’s jurisdiction are screened out and, if appropriate, the person is referred elsewhere. Someone with a complaint that falls within the Commission's jurisdiction is advised about the different state and federal legislation under which she or he can lodge a complaint All steps of the complaints resolution process are explained to the complainant at this point. Prelodgement case study-Disability Maria’s interview for a chef’s position was going well until she told Richard, the hotel manager that she had injured her spine in a car crash several years ago. Richard’s attitude changed and it became clear by the end of the interview that Maria would not be offered the job. When Maria asked why, Richard told her that he couldn’t take risk of hiring someone that would probably end up on Workcover in a few months with a bad back. Maria protested that the damage to her spine had been corrected and even produced a doctor’s report but Richard refused to change his mind. Maria then contacted the Commission to find out if this was a case of discrimination. At an interview with a prelodgement officer, it was determined that Maria would be able to lodge a complaint of disability discrimination under either the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act or the federal Disability Discrimination Act. After considering the options and discussing her case with the Prelodgement Officer, Maria elected to lodge her complaint under the Disability Discrimination Act. EOC Annual Report 1994/95 17 Prelodgement case study - Sex Chris had his mail booking accepted for a rafting trip organised by other students from a outdoor activities club at the university he attended. When he turned up in person to pay for the trip, the organisers told him that they had not realised he was a man and that it was a women-only trip and that his booking was cancelled. Chris called the Commission to make a complaint of sex discrimination and was referred to the prelodgement section. During discussions with prelodgement staff, it emerged that that the trip had not been arranged officially by the rafting club but separately by several members. Prelodgement advised Chris that since the rafting trip was arranged privately, it did not fall under any of the areas where discrimination was unlawful and so a complaint could not be lodged. Investigation. Once a complaint is lodged, it is transferred to Investigation. This stage includes • further discussions with the complainant to clarify all the issues and identify possible areas for investigation • notifying the respondent of the allegations made in the complaint and obtaining his/her response • collecting relevant information from the complainant, the respondent, witnesses and other relevant agencies • assessing all available information and making a recommendation to the Commission as to whether the complaint is capable of conciliation or should be declined as lacking in substance, vexatious, frivolous or misconceived. Under the current Equal Opportunity Act 1984 and the new 1995 Act, the Commission must advise a complainant within 60 days if their complaint is declined. Investigation case study - Sexual harassment Nicole was working as an accounts clerk for a large engineering firm. John, her supervisor asked her out for date and when she refused, his regular e-mail to her about work issues started to frequently include very heavy sexual innuendo such as descriptions of what he wanted to do to her, using engineering terms and jargon. Nicole reported this to Jeff, the Accounts Manager who dismissed the e-mail messages as just typical office “high spirits” and “engineering humour” and told her not to be so sensitive. Nicole then lodged a formal complaint of sexual harassment with the Commission. A Commission investigator contacted Jeff, who repeated his statement that such language was just part of the company’s office culture and that Nicole was overreacting. The investigator asked Nicole for a copy of all the relevant e-mail sent by John. After studying print-outs of the e-mail, and talking to some of Nicole’s co-workers who said that she appeared very upset at having to read this material as part of her work, the investigator made a recommendation to the Commission that the complaint appeared to have substance and so should be referred for an attempt at conciliation. The Commission accepted the recommendation and a date was set for all parties to attend a conciliation conference. Investigation case study - Goods and services Emily and Kate lodged a joint complaint of sex discrimination on the grounds that, during a holiday down the coast, a diving tour operator had refused to hire out scuba gear to them even though they were qualified scuba divers. Emily and Kate claimed that the tour operator had told them that “girls always return the equipment in a real mess and forget to clean the saltwater off’. A member of the Commission’s investigation staff called the tour operator who agreed that he might have made some remark along the above lines. However, he explained that his reason for not providing them with service was that both Emily’s and Kate’s scuba qualifications were not officially recognised in Victoria and so he was forbidden by law from supplying them with the diving gear. Emily and Kate were informed of this, but still felt the tour operator was being discriminatory in his comments. After viewing Emily and Kate’s diving qualifications and checking with the relevant licensing agency, the investigator recommended that the complaint be declined as lacking in substance. Conciliation. Conciliation conferences, held by trained Commission conciliators, are confidential meetings where parties can freely and fully talk through all issues relating to the complaint and attempt to reach a resolution of the complaint through negotiation. There are a number of possible outcomes to conciliation. Complaints can be closed as resolved through a negotiated outcome. This may include an apology, financial compensation and/or a commitment by the respondent to introduce equal opportunity policies and practices to avoid future incidents. Alternatively, if the complaint was based on a genuine misunderstanding, it may be withdrawn. EOC Annual Report 1994/95 18 Conciliation case study - Disability David had lodged a complaint of discrimination on the ground of disability because he had lost his job as a white goods salesperson after telling Andrew, the company owner, that he had been diagnosed as HIV Positive. During investigation of the complaint, Andrew had claimed that David was retrenched because the business was in financial difficulties and needed to shed staff. However the investigation revealed that Andrew had actually hired someone to replace David. Andrew admitted this during the conciliation conference and said that his real reason for firing David was that he felt other employees would refuse to work with him because of his condition. Following negotiations between David and Andrew, David was offered his job back and a payment of $5000 to compensate for lost wages. Andrew also agreed to send all his staff to an HIV/AIDS awareness course and introduce an equal opportunity policy in his workplace. David accepted all these terms except the offer of reinstatement, saying he would not feel comfortable returning to that workplace and that he had been offered another position. Review/referral. This provides complainants with the option to have declined or unresolved complaints referred for public hearing and determination by the Equal Opportunity Board at the state level or the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission at the federal level. Review/referral case study - Accommodation After being refused a room for the night at a country resort hotel because they had their 4 year old twins with them, Gina and Stavros lodged a complaint on the ground of parental status. Investigation revealed that the hotel had frequently refused accommodation to parents and children before, but made no mention of their “no children” policy in any of their brochures or advertisements. The hotel owners and the manager were asked to attend a conciliation conference with Gina and Stavros but did not show up at the appointed date. A second attempt was made to hold a conciliation conference and again the respondents did not show up despite assurances that they would. The Conciliator then recommended that a compulsory conference be held. The hotel owners and manager did show up on this occasion. However they refused to consider Gina and Stavros’ request that the hotel change and advertise its policy on children. As the complaint was not able to conciliated, the Commission closed its file after advising Gina and Stavros of their right to have the matter referred to the Equal Opportunity Board for a public hearing. How to make a complaint The Commission’s complaint resolution service is free and completely confidential If you think you’ve been unlawfully discriminated against, contact the Commission for a complaint form. The complaint form will ask for • your name, address and contact phone number • the name and address of the person or organisation you want to complain about • how you believe you were discriminated against • when the discrimination happened • why you were treated this way • whether you want to complain under state or federal anti-discrimination law You can call us if you have any questions and we will contact you if we need more information. Complaints received in 1994/95 The Commission received 2708 formal complaints in 1994/95, a 68% increase on the 1993/94 figure of 1616. A large part of this increase was due to 595 disability complaints referred to the Commission under the new federal delegation. When complaints received under this delegation are excluded, the total number of formal complaints made was 2113, an increase of 31% on 1993/94. Of the 2708 complaints, 1049 (39%) were made under the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 1984, 768 (28%) under the federal Sex Discrimination Act 1984, 595 (22%) under the federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and 296 (11%) under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975. EOC Annual Report 1994/95 19 Because of the delegation, disability complaints received by the Commission recorded the highest rise by far in any areas, up from 192 in 1993/94 to 788 in 1994/95, an increase of just over 300%. 193 of these complaints were made under the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 1984, an increase of 0.5 % in disability complaints made under state legislation. The second biggest increase in complaints received was on the grounds of sexual harassment, up by 23% to 527 from the 1993/94 figure of 430. Complaints of sex discrimination rose from 395 in 1993/94 to 463 in 1994/95, an increase of 17%. Areas where complaints of discrimination rose in 1994/95 included employment which recorded a 44% increase from 1414 complaints in 1993/94 to 2033 in 1994/95 and goods and services which rose from 148 in 1993/94 to 471 in 1994/95, an increase of 218%. The sharp rise in both these areas can again be attributed to the new delegation to receive disability complaints under federal legislation. Excluding complaints made under federal disability legislation, complaints of discrimination in employment rose by 22% up to 1727 while complaints of discrimination in the provision of goods and services increased by 83% to 271. Complaints in the area of education also increased from 22 in 1993/94 to 134 in 1994/95, in clubs from 5 in 1993/94 to 9 in 1994/95 and in accommodation from 27 in 1993/94 to 61 in 1994/95. While the Commission views these figures with concern, it believes that this may not reflect a significant rise in the overall incidence of discrimination. Several factors may have contributed to this increase including • the additional caseload generated by the new responsibility for receiving disability complaints under federal legislation as mentioned above • the requirement, stemming from the precedents set by Federal Court decisions, Proudfoot vs HREOC and Ellenbogen vs HREOC, that any complaints, regardless of actual substance, that falls within an equal opportunity body’s jurisdiction must be lodged as a formal complaint and investigated before it can be declined or otherwise acted upon • an improved awareness by the community that unfair treatment is unlawful and that redress is available through the Commission. Resolution of Complaints The Commission closed 1844 complaints in 1994/95, 57% percent more than in 1993/94. Of these complaints, 1076 or 58% were resolved through conciliation, withdrawn by complainants, lapsed (mainly because complainants did not maintain contact) or were found to be outside the Commission’s jurisdiction. A further 388 (21%) were declined as lacking in substance and 380 (21%) were not resolved through conciliation. Compared with 1993/94 complaint closure data for the federal Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and anti-discrimination bodies in New South Wales and South Australia, the Commission’s 1994/95 decline, finalisation and unresolved rates were well within overall averages for these figures. Complaint outcomes by Financial Year Outcome 1993/94 1994/95 Declined 13% 21% Finalised 63% 58% * Not resolved 24% 21% * Breakdown of 1994/95 finalised complaints. Resolved: 307, withdrawn: 594, lapsed: 151, no jurisdiction found: 24. The number of complaints which were closed three months or less after lodgement was up to 21% as compared to 6% for 1993/94. Because of the priority given to clearing up the complaints backlog, a relatively high number of complaints (38%) that had been lodged 12 months or more previously were closed in 1994/95. Complaint Closures by Financial Year EOC Annual Report 1994/95 20 40 35 38 greater than 12 months 37 30 less than 12 months 25 % 20 less than 9 months 22 20 21 15 less than 6 months 10 15 14 15 12 less than 3 months 5 6 0 1993/94 1994/95 EOC Annual Report 1994/95 21 8. APPENDICES APPENDIX 1: COMMISSION MEMBERS AND STAFF AT 30 JUNE 1995 EOC MEMBERS (fte = 1.8) Virginia Rogers, Chairperson Diane Sisely, Chief Executive Regina Fuster, Member Daphne Milward, Member Michael Gorton, Member STAFF (fte = 29.5) Fran Lemus, Secretary to the Chief Executive Legal, Policy & Research Debbie Kiper, Legal Officer Information & Education Jenny Ryan, Manager Trish Cooper, Events Co-ordinator Renn Barker, Media Liaison Jeanette Singh, Koorie Information & Education Officer Lysanne Kingswell, Information & Education Officer Peter Fotiadis, Information Officer Coralie Johnson, Information Officer Denise Lloyd, Information Officer Eli Velkovska, Receptionist Roberta Condie, Librarian Complaint Resolution Charlotta Ziems, Manager Gaye Harris, Administrative Assistant Robyn Fletcher, Referral & Review Officer Di Lopez, Senior Prelodgement Officer Melinda Robinson, Prelodgement Officer Wendy Morrison, Prelodgement Officer Melanie Fraser, Prelodgement Officer Anne Sharkey, DDA Prelodgement Officer Margaret Noall, Senior Investigation Officer Stella Choi, Administrative Assistant Ian Hamm, Koorie Investigation Officer Michelle Mead, Investigation Officer Gina Virgona, DDA Investigator Officer Matthew Carroll, Investigation Officer Carmel White, DDA Investigation Officer Mark McPherson, Senior Conciliation Officer Catherine Smith, DDA Conciliator Robin Rankin, Conciliator Judy Monk, Koorie Conciliator Kevin O’Neill, Conciliator Dora De Blasio, Conciliator Marilyn Mandie, Conciliator Corporate Services (Department of Justice fte = 2) Beth Johnson, Finance & Project Manager Annie Fernandez, Accounts Officer Charmaine Young, Finance & Administration Officer EOC Annual Report 1994/95 22 APPENDIX 2: COMMISSION BUDGET AT 30 JUNE 1995 Recurrent Short-term Expenditure Cash flow allocation backlog 1994/95 allocation 1994/95 allocation 1994/95 Salaries $1,033,495 $125,500 $1,060,167 $1,158,995 Other operating costs $545,312 $39,500 $464,268 $584,812 Total $1,578,807 $165,000 $1,524,435 $1,743,807 Budget Allocation $1,743,807 Total Allocation $1,524,435 Carry forward - $219,372 Note: The carry forward figure of $219,372 is due to funds allocated for equipment, training and relocation costs that had not been put in place in 1994/95. EOC Annual Report 1994/95 23 APPENDIX 3. ENQUIRIES AND COMPLAINTS TABLES Enquiries Table 1. 1994/95 Enquiries by Grounds & Financial Year (All Acts) 1992/93 1993/94 1994/95 No. % No. % No. % Age 429 3.2 485 3.1 515 2.9 AIDS/HIV 108 .8 90 0.6 115 0.6 Criminal Record 86 .6 118 0.8 76 0.4 Disability 1527 11.4 1901 12.1 2237 12.4 Human Rights* - - - - 411 2.3 Industrial Activity 75 0.6 64 0.4 79 0.4 Marital Status 265 1.9 265 1.7 249 1.4 General information 4306 32.7 4816 30.9 6018 33.3 Parenthood 205 1.5 276 1.8 271 1.5 Political belief 92 0.7 61 0.4 60 0.3 Pregnancy 482 3.6 554 3.5 487 2.7 Privacy 37 0.3 27 0.2 56 0.3 Race 1543 11.6 1733 11.1 1746 9.7 Religious belief 140 1.0 134 0.9 163 0.9 Sex 2021 15.1 2641 16.9 2046 11.3 Sexual Harassment 1413 10.6 1840 11.8 2467 13.7 Sexuality 76 0.6 123 0.8 130 0.7 Smoking 20 0.1 36 0.2 57 0.3 Unfair Dismissal 239 1.8 264 1.7 578 3.2 Victimisation - - - - 129 0.7 Workcare Disclosure 250 1.9 177 1.1 187 1.0 Total 13314 100 15605 100 18077 100 * Not listed as separate categories in previous years Complaints Complaints data for 1994/95 includes complaints received under the federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992 which were not handled by the Commission in previous years. Table 2. Complaints by Area, Ground and Financial Year (All Acts) Employment Education* Clubs* Accommodation , Goods & Total * services* 93/94 94/95 93/94 94/95 93/94 94/95 93/94 94/95 93/94 94/95 93/94 94/95 Disability 162 437 5 63 0 1 2 39 23 248 192 788 Marital status 47 61 0 0 1 2 0 0 8 8 56 71 Other/unspecified 23 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 2 26 6 Parenthood 13 29 0 0 0 0 2 0 8 11 23 40 Political belief 8 11 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 20 11 31 Pregnancy 158 100 2 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 162 102 Race 172 268 6 19 0 2 13 16 51 99 242 404 Religious belief 5 11 1 23 2 1 2 3 0 22 10 60 Sex 341 407 6 16 2 3 5 0 41 37 395 463 Sexual 416 511 1 10 0 0 2 0 11 6 430 527 harassment Victimisation 69 194 0 3 0 0 0 2 0 17 69 216 Total 1414 2033 22 134 5 9 27 61 148 471 1616 2708 * These 93/94 figures were incorrectly formatted in the 1993/94 Annual Report and are presented here in the correct format. EOC Annual Report 1994/95 24 Table 3. Complaints by Area & Financial Year (All Acts) 1992/93 1993/94 1994/95 No. % No. % No. % Accommodation 30 2.6 27 1.7 61 2.2 Clubs 11 1.0 5 0.3 9 0.3 Education 61 5.4 22 1.3 134 4.9 Employment 842 74.7 1414 87.5 2033 75.1 Goods & Services 184 16.3 148 9.2 471 17.5 Total 1128 100 1616 100 2708 100 Table 4. Complaints by Ground & Financial Year (All Acts) 1992/93 1993/94 1994/95 No. % No. % No. % Disability 232 20.6 192 11.9 788 29.2 Marital status 47 4.2 56 3.5 71 2.6 Other/unspecified 2 0.5 28 1.7 6 0.2 Parenthood 27 2.4 23 1.4 40 1.5 Political belief 6 0.5 11 0.7 31 1.1 Pregnancy 74 6.5 162 10.0 102 3.8 Race 189 16.8 242 14.9 404 14.9 Religious belief 11 1.0 10 0.6 60 2.2 Sex 305 27.0 395 24.4 463 17.1 Sexual harassment 180 16.0 430 26.6 527 19.4 Victimisation 57 5.0 69 4.3 216 8.0 Total 1128 100 1616 100 2708 100 Table 5. Complaints by Gender and Financial Year % Female % Male 1994/95 61 39 1993/94 73 27 1992/93 69 31 All percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number. Table 6. Complaints by Area, Gender and Financial Year 1992/93 1993/94 1994/95 % Female % Male % Female % Male % Female % Male Accommodation 48 52 53 47 40 60 Clubs 25 75 100 0 46 54 Education 57 43 56 44 42 58 Employment 77 23 80 20 70 30 Goods & services 54 46 64 36 35 65 Total 69 31 73 27 61 39 All percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number. EOC Annual Report 1994/95 25 Table 7. Complaints by Ground, Gender and Financial Year 1992/93 1993/94 1994/95 % Female % Male % Female % Male % Female % Male Disability 43 57 55 45 37 63 Marital Status 78 22 84 16 63 37 Other/unspecified - - - - 50 50 Parenthood 91 9 94 6 95 5 Political Beliefs 20 80 25 75 29 71 Pregnancy 100 0 100 0 100 0 Race 46 54 39 61 36 64 Religious Beliefs 25 75 70 30 26 74 Sex 75 25 82 18 83 17 Sexual Harassment 91 9 95 5 91 9 Victimisation 91 9 84 16 67 33 Total 69 31 73 27 61 39 All percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number. Table 8. Complaints by Statute and Financial Year 1992/93 1993/94 1994/95 No. % No. % Equal Opportunity Act 1984 715 63 646 40 1049 39 Racial Discrimination Act 1975 131 12 194 12 296 11 Sex Discrimination Act 1984 282 25 776 48 768 28 Disability Discrimination Act 1992 - - - - 595 22 Total 1128 100 1616 100 2708 100 All percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number. EOC Annual Report 1994/95 26 APPENDIX 4: AVAILABLE PUBLICATIONS EQUAL OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION Information & Guideline Sheets The Victorian Equal Opportunity Act Impairment Discrimination Race Discrimination Sex Discrimination Sexual Harassment Pregnancy Discrimination Interviewing & Advertising Guidelines Guidelines to Exceptions & Exemptions and the Duty not to Discriminate Redundancy & Anti-discrimination Laws Discrimination in Real Estate & Accommodation Complaints Procedures - How the Commission Deals with Complaints (EOA) Complaints Procedures - Sex Discrimination Act, Disability Discrimination & Race Discrimination Act Equal Opportunity in Employment The Disability Discrimination Act (A guide for people living with HIV and AIDS) HIV/AIDS Discrimination Religious Discrimination Accommodation (Your rights & responsibilities) Equal Opportunity Guidelines Impairment Discrimination Guideline to Dealing with Sexual Harassment in Employment Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace New Equal Opportunity Laws in Victoria Posters Treated Unfairly? (Grounds & areas of discrimination) Sexual Harassment Free Zone HUMAN RIGHTS & EQUAL OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION PUBLICATIONS Training Kits (include video, trainer’s notes, handouts, overheads) Employment Recruitment - “The Best Person for the Job” - for Management Sexual Harassment Training Package - for Workplace Managers & Supervisors Cultural Diversity - “Diversity Makes Good Business” Privacy Act - “The Management of Personal Information” Brochures How you can use... The Disability Discrimination Act Your guide to the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 The Sex Discrimination Act 1994 - Sexual Harassment Knowing Your Rights A guide to the Race Discrimination Act Discrimination in Employment and Occupation Your rights at work Disability Discrimination Act (Employer Information) Posters Disability Discrimination Act - Don’t Judge what I can do by what you think I can’t.