The terms on which disputes are resolved include systemic outcomes
Information on outcomes of unlawful discrimination complaints indicates that, in 2018–19, 30% of conciliation outcomes included terms that benefit the community as well as the individual complainant—noting that a single agreement may contain a number of different terms. For example, agreements included outcomes such as introducing anti-discrimination policies and providing specialised discrimination training to staff; facilitating participatory design of inaccessible technology; and modifications to the built environment.
Complaint of disability discrimination under the DDA
The complainant’s son is 14 years of age and has autism Spectrum Disorder. He claimed his son was unable to access the respondent aquatic and leisure centre due to consistently high noise levels, which increased his son’s anxiety.
On being advised of the complaint, the aquatic and leisure centre indicated a willingness to try to resolve the complaint by conciliation.
The complaint was resolved with an undertaking by the aquatic and leisure centre to trial ‘quiet hours’ and to publicise these on its website. During quiet hours, the centre would restrict music and announcements, reduce maintenance and operational noise, provide a quiet room for patrons, offer ear plugs for purchase, reduce lighting and not operate water slides/slippery dips. The centre agreed to collect feedback from patrons and staff to assess whether to permanently introduce quiet hours.
Complaint of sexual orientation discrimination under the SDA
The complainant identifies as homosexual and attended the respondent hotel. He alleged a security guard from the respondent security company, which provides security services for the hotel, required him to leave for no reason and said ‘jog on faggot’.
The security guard denied the allegations but both respondents agreed to participate in conciliation to try to resolve the complaint.
The complaint was resolved. In response to the complaint, the hotel and security company revised their policies and training on non-discrimination and complaint handling. The hotel and the security company also undertook to deliver training to staff on non-discrimination in employment and service delivery and to remind staff of potential disciplinary action that could be taken should these expectations be breached.