Equality Scheme Complaints Procedure

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. This section explains how the Department's complaints procedure for Section 75 equality of opportunity and good relations issues works.

How to complain

All written complaints, (including faxes and emails) should in the first instance be brought to the attention of:


All complaints (received directly or indirectly via Agencies and Divisions) 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 email.

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

Telephone: 028 9050 0600
Fax no: 028 9033 1544
Textphone: 028 9024 0010
email: info.statduty@equalityni.org
Website: www.equalityni.org

Before taking a complaint to the Equality Commission, you must have:

  • brought the complaint to the notice of the Department; and
  • 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 for Northern Ireland, 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 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.

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