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The Limits of Complaint-Based Approaches in Addressing Systemic Discrimination in Employment

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter the author has examined the limits and weaknesses of addressing systemic discrimination in employment, and in particular systemic ethnic discrimination, solely through complaint-based models of antidiscrimination law. He begins with the recognition that complaint-based approaches have played an important role in eliminating many extreme and overt forms of discrimination – they are indeed necessary for clarifying and further developing the law of discrimination. Furthermore, they provide a crucial legal remedy for victims of discrimination seeking redress. However, the mechanisms of complaint-based approaches are demonstratively too specific and too selective in their capture, identification and remedy of causes in the cycle of disadvantage to be capable, in itself, of delivering substantive equality. He explains why the proactive obligation regimes manage to capture, identify and remedy systemic discrimination in employment more effectively than complaint-based models.

Keywords: complaint-based approaches; employment; ethnic discrimination; organizational transformation; proactive obligation regimes; racial discrimination; systemic discrimination



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