Once a complaint is lodged with the Commission, if it appears to be well-founded, an investigation is conducted.
If the investigation reveals evidence of discrimination, the Commission shall proceed with the conciliation process.
In case there is no evidence of discrimination, the Commission shall, in writing, inform the complainant as well as the person against whom the complaint has been made, stating the reasons for not taking any further action in respect of the complaint in question.
The Investigation process
On receiving a complaint, if the Commission finds that it is based on valid grounds, it shall conduct an investigation and require the person complained against, to furnish such information as may be required in relation to the complaint, within a specified time.
The Conciliation process
If, following the investigation, the Commission finds that the complainant has good grounds in his/her complaint, it shall proceed with the conciliation process and the conciliation proceedings are held at the seat of the Commission.
The conciliation process will primarily aim at settling the complaint amicably between the parties involved.
If a complaint is settled by conciliation, the settlement is embodied in a written agreement and registered with the Equal Opportunities Tribunal; following which, the agreement is considered as an order of the Tribunal and becomes binding on the parties involved.
It is important to bear in mind that conciliation is a voluntary process. The role of the Commission is to encourage the parties to come to a settlement on terms agreeable to them. However, if one of the parties or both of them do not reach a compromise, the Commission cannot force them to do so. In this case, with the consent of the complainant, the Commission refers the complaint to the Tribunal.
Reference of the Complaint to the Tribunal
If the Commission believes that a complaint cannot be resolved or if it has been unsuccessful in its attempt to resolve the issue by conciliation, it prepares a report relating to the complaint, together with its recommendations, and sends a copy thereof to the parties concerned.
Within a delay of 45 days from the date of the receipt of the report, any of the parties may inform the Commission whether the complaint has been resolved or otherwise.
And upon being informed that the complaint remains unresolved, the Commission shall, with the consent of the complainant, refer the matter to the Tribunal.