Victoria has had an Equal Opportunity Act since 1977. The current Act is the Equal Opportunity Act 2010. The legislation protects people from discrimination on the basis of their individual attributes in certain areas of public life, and provides redress for people who have been discriminated against. It also aims to eliminate, as far as possible, discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation.
The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission is a statutory body that promotes equality of opportunity in Victoria, educates people about their rights and responsibilities under equal opportunity laws, and provides free and impartial dispute resolution services for people with disputes about discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation and racial and religious vilification.
The Australian Human Rights Commission was established in 1986 by an act of the Commonwealth Parliament. It is an independent statutory organisation that reports to the federal Parliament through the Attorney-General.
Discrimination is also prohibited under Commonwealth anti-discrimination legislation.
Guide to the Equal Opportunity Act 2010
The Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (the 2010 Act) came into force on 1 August 2011 and replaced the Equal Opportunity Act 1995 (the 1995 Act).
The Guide to the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (the Guide) highlights the main changes between the 1995 Act and the 2010 Act. Provisions in the 1995 Act that were not significantly changed by the 2010 Act are not discussed in detail in the Guide and the Guide does not reproduce each section of the 2010 Act in its entirety. Further, the Guide does not provide a comprehensive overview of equal opportunity law in Victoria.
The Guide includes a table that lists provisions in the 2010 Act against similar provisions in the 1995 Act.
The Guide is not a substitute for legal advice.