Every organisation is required to make sure volunteers and paid staff know that discrimination is not acceptable and is not tolerated in any form. All employees and volunteers should be treated in a non-discriminatory manner, particularly in recruitment, training, supervision, recognition and reward.

So the purpose of your policy might be: To ensure that all employees are treated on their merits, without regard to race, age, sex, relationship status or any other factor not applicable to the position.

Your policies and procedures need to address how you will respond if it does occur, including:

  • How to report discrimination
  • Who is responsible for acting on complaints
  • Timelines
  • Who else can help.

It is important to have a visible policy on the behaviour that is expected of all staff and volunteers in your organisation, so make you sure you plan time to communicate your policy and procedures.

This links to National Standards for Involving Volunteers No.2 – Management responsibilities.

Discrimination and the law

The Equal Opportunity Act 2010 came into force in August 2011 to improve the way discrimination is managed in Victoria.

It is still against the law under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 to discriminate against a person because of any of the personal characteristics listed as a type of discrimination, including (but not limited to):

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Marital or parental status
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation.

Sexual harassment is also against the law.

Tools and resources