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Identity of spouse or partner

This occurs where a person is treated less favourably in public life because of who their spouse is. An example would be where a trader refuses to serve a man in a shop because his wife is a politician whom the trader dislikes.


In South Australia it is unlawful to treat a person less favourably because of who their spouse or partner is. This applies in:

  • work
  • education
  • conferral of qualifications
  • goods and services
  • accommodation
  • sale of land
  • membership of clubs and associations


Less favourable treatment is not unlawful if, because of who the person’s spouse or partner is, there would be an unreasonable risk to confidentiality, a conflict of interest or a risk to health or safety, or the person’s appointment would be nepotism.

Making a complaint

Complaints can be made to the Equal Opportunity Commission of South Australia. There is no cost to lodge a complaint in either the Equal Opportunity Commission. For forms and guides on making a complaint see the website for the Equal Opportunity Commission.

For complaints relating to discrimination in employment, claims can may made to the Fair Work Commission, see the Employment chapter of the handbook on protected workplace rights: General Protections.

Time limits:

The Equal Opportunity Commissioner normally requires a complaint to be made within 6 months of the event being complained of but can grant extensions of time.

General Protections claims relating to dismissal have a 21 day timelimit (from the date of notice of dismissal) in the Fair Work Commission.

Identity of spouse or partner  :  Last Revised: Wed Nov 8th 2017
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.