Notification of complaint

When the Commission receives a complaint, it is assessed to see if the things complained about are covered by the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991.

The Commission must decide whether or not to accept a complaint within 28 days of receiving it, unless more information is needed to decide.

If it appears that the complaint is covered by the Act it is accepted, unless there are other issues to be dealt with. It does NOT mean that the Commission has decided that the discrimination or other breach of the Act happened. Acceptance means that it is the type of complaint that the Commission must try to resolve.


Once a complaint is accepted:

  • The Commission advises the person making a complaint (the complainant) in a letter that their complaint has been accepted.
  • The Commission advises the person being complained about (the respondent) in a letter that a complaint has been made against them, and provides a copy of the complaint.

Complaints which are not accepted

If the Commission does not accept a complaint, the complainant is advised that their complaint has not been accepted and the reasons why. If there is another agency which can handle the complaint, the Commission will refer the person to that agency.

The Commission does not generally tell the person being complained about unless the complaint is accepted, or unless the Commission needs information from them before deciding whether or not to accept the complaint. The most common situation where this happens is when more than 1 year has passed before the complaint was made to the Commission.

If the complainant whose complaint has not been accepted subsequently provides further information which shows that the complaint comes under the Act, the Commission may accept the complaint and notify the respondent.