Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission

The Equal Opportunity Act 2010

The Equal Opportunity Act 2010 took effect in August 2011.

This new Act replaces the Equal Opportunity Act 1995 and strengthens discrimination laws in Victoria by changing some key definitions, creating new responsibilities for the Commission, and strengthening the Commission’s role in helping government, business and the community identify and eliminate discrimination.

The objectives of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 are to encourage the identification and elimination of discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation and their causes, and to promote and facilitate the progressive realisation of equality.

To do this the Commission will provide a timely and effective dispute resolution service and has been given tools to encourage and facilitate best practice and compliance.

It is still against the law under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 to discriminate against a person on the personal characteristics listed in the Equal Opportunity Act 1995.

It is also against the law to sexually harass someone or to victimise them for speaking up about their rights, making a complaint, helping someone else make a complaint or refusing to do something that would be contrary to the Equal Opportunity Act.

Download the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 quick guide for more information.

Under the Act the Commission may also intervene in cases or appear as amicus curiae to assist a court or tribunal considering equal opportunity issues.