This section explains how the Department's complaints procedure for Section 75 equality of opportunity and good relations issues works.
The Department is fully committed to meeting its statutory obligations on the promotion of equality and good relations. The Department's Equality Scheme sets out the Department's plans for fulfilling those obligations and can be accessed in the following page:
When a person believes that he/she has been directly affected by a failure of the Department to comply with the Equality Scheme he/she is free to make a complaint. The following paragraphs explain how to make a complaint and what you can expect from the Department in responding to your complaint.
What is an equality related complaint?
An equality related complaint is any representation made by any person who feels that they have been directly affected by the failure of the Department to comply with the commitments in the Equality Scheme.
How to complain
All written complaints (including letters and e-mails) should be sent in the first instance for the attention of:Gabrielle Kerr
Equality & Emergency Planning Unit
Strategy, Equality and Governance
10 - 18 Adelaide Street
Telephone: 028 9054 0824 (text relay prefix 18001)
All equality related complaints (received directly or indirectly) will be:
- acknowledged within three working days of receipt
- investigated thoroughly and treated confidentially
- responded to within one month in an accessible format, if requested
In all cases, when we receive a complaint, we will try to be as helpful as possible and respond in a positive, prompt, efficient and effective way.
Do I have to complain in writing?
Many people are put off making a complaint because they have to make it in writing. Although we would prefer to have the complaint made in this way, we will also accept complaints by telephone, and e-mail. The option of a meeting with a member of staff from the Department's Equality Unit to discuss the issue will also be offered if appropriate.
What if I am still not satisfied?
If you are not satisfied with the Department's decision as a result of the investigation, you can pursue the complaint further with the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland is located at:Equality House
7 - 9 Shaftesbury Square
Before taking a complaint to the Equality Commission, you must have:
- brought the complaint to the notice of the Department
- allowed the Department a reasonable opportunity to respond
The Equality Commission shall:
- investigate the complaint, or
- give you reasons for not investigating.
A complaint to the Equality Commission must be made in writing by the person claiming to have been directly affected by the failure of the Department to comply with the Equality Scheme.
A complaint must be sent to the Equality Commission during the period of 12 months starting with the day on which you first knew of the matters alleged.
In any investigation by the Equality Commission, the Department will co-operate fully, providing access to relevant information as the Commission may require.