The introduction of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010
in August 2011 has simplified the process of reserving positions for Aboriginal people through the ‘special measures’ provision.
A special measure is not considered discrimination and does not require an exemption under the Act.
Before using a special measure, an organisation should check the criteria outlined in the Act.
An employer is responsible for proving the validity of a special measure. Therefore, when reserving positions for Aboriginal people an organisation should develop an Aboriginal employment plan, cite the relevant sections of the Act and monitor targets.
Reserving positions for Aboriginal applicants for purposes other than promoting or realising substantive equality does not constitute a special measure and an exemption must be sought from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
For more information about whether a special measure applies, seek advice from the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission on 1300 292 153.