Options for responding

When a complaint has been accepted, the Commission notifies the complainant and the respondent and provides each respondent with a copy of the complaint against them.

The Commission also:

  • directs all parties to attend a compulsory conciliation conference on a specific date, time and place. This date will generally be about 4 to 6 weeks after the notification.
  • asks the respondent if they want an earlier conciliation conference than the date set;
  • asks the respondent if they would like to make a written response to the complaint.

Early conciliation conference

The respondent may request an early conciliation conference.They do not have to provide a written response before making this request.

An early conciliation conference date means that resolution of the complaint may be able to start sooner, and stress minimised for all concerned.

When a respondent tells the Commission that they want an early conciliation conference date, the Commission will talk to the person making the complaint and all the other respondents to see if an earlier date can be arranged. Sometimes a complaint can be resolved sooner in this way.

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Written response

The Commission gives a respondent the opportunity to provide a written response before the conciliation conference.

It is not compulsory to provide a written response. However a written response can sometimes help resolve complaints by providing an explanation that satisfies the complainant. At this point a complaint can be finalised.

In the written response:

  • Give your side of the story, especially if there is a reasonable explanation for what happened.
  • Keep in mind that the complainant and other respondents will be reading your response.
  • Suggest how you want to resolve the complaint.
  • Give your phone number and address for service where you can be easily reached. This address for service will be given to all the complainants and any other respondents. If you want to keep your home address private, use a PO Box, the address of an organisation, lawyer or other reliable person.
  • Tell us if you would prefer contact by email or fax and give your details.
  • Sign and date your response.

A copy of the response should be sent to:

  • the complainant, at their address for service provided by the Commission; and
  • all other respondents listed on the Commission's letter; and
  • the Commission, including confirmation that you also sent it to the complainant.

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