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Equal Opportunity, Discrimination and Harassment Policy


1. Policy statement

The Department of Education provides inclusive and equitable work and learning environments, services and management practices free of unlawful discrimination and harassment.  This includes the prevention and effective management of discrimination and harassment.

2. Policy rules

Principals and line managers must:

  • provide equal opportunity on the grounds under the legislation;
  • provide access to facilities, services or opportunities to meet special needs, where reasonable and practicable; and
  • maintain work and learning environments free of unlawful discrimination and harassment, and address issues and incidents involving students, staff, visitors, volunteers and contractors.

Employees must demonstrate professional and ethical behaviour, and not engage in any form of discrimination or harassment.

3. Responsibility for implementation and compliance

Principals and line managers are responsible for implementing the policy.

The Executive Director Workforce is responsible for compliance monitoring.

4. Scope

This policy applies to all employees.


This policy applies to all worksites, including off-site and after-hours work-related activities such as training courses, conferences, telephone calls, emails, social media and social functions.

6. Definitions

Direct discrimination is when a person is treated less favourably than another person, in the same or similar circumstances, on one or more of the grounds and in one of the areas of public life covered by the Equal Opportunity Act 1984. 

Indirect discrimination occurs when an apparently neutral rule, policy, practice or procedure has a negative effect on a substantially higher proportion of people with a particular attribute or characteristic compared to people without the attribute/characteristic, and the rule is unreasonable in the circumstances.

Refer to Appendix A of the Procedures for the grounds of discrimination.

7. Related documents

8. Contact information

Policy manager:

Director, Workforce Policy and Coordination

Policy contact officer:

Manager, Workforce Policy

T: 9264 5081


Standards and Integrity

T: 1800 655 985

9. History of changes

Effective date Last update date Policy version no.
1 April 2014 2.0
This new policy replaces the Equal Employment Opportunity/Diversity, Anti-Racism, Workplace Sexual Harassment and Employment of People with Disabilities policies. Corp Ex endorsement 13.2.2014.
1 April 2014 22 January 2016 2.1
Minor changes to guidance under policy rules and updated links. D16/0025669
1 April 2014 9 March 2017 2.2
Minor changes to replace references to Substantive Equality Policy with Substantive Equality Guidelines and updated links D17/0104478
8 August 2018 8 August 2018 3.0
Equal Opportunity, Discrimination and Harassment policy has undergone a major review. Endorsed by the Director General at Corporate Executive on 4 April 2018.
8 May 2018 22 April 2020 3.1
Minor changes to update links, related documents and include additional guidance information. D20/0201954
8 May 2018 9 August 2021 3.2
Minor changes to update links, related documents and additional guidance information. D21/0436131
8 May 2018 12 August 2021 3.3
Minor change. Removal of Reconciliation from Other Documents. D21/0444045
8 May 2018 12 June 2023 3.4
Minor changes to update related policy and other documents titles and links (D23/1206633).

10. More information

Policy review date

8 May 2021

Policy last updated

12 June 2023