Commissioner Broderick noted the Commission was concerned that the Bill preserves the operation of state and territory laws to 'refuse to make, issue or alter an official record of a person's sex if a law of a state or territory requires the refusal because the person is married'. Sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status will be added as new grounds of discrimination in certain areas of public life. The key changes are as follows: From 21 June Schedule 1 amends the Sex Discrimination Act to enhance protections against sex discrimination and sexual harassment to: However, the Explanatory Memorandum indicates that the requirement to consult under this new provision will not be triggered by a proposed change where an employee has irregular, sporadic or unpredictable working hours. The changes are likely to result in an increase in sexual harassment claims in the Australian Human Rights Commission.
In order to ensure compliance with these new laws, employers should: The previous s 5 1A of the Sex Discrimination Act, which stated that breastfeeding is a characteristic that appertains generally to women, was described in the Senate Report as a "somewhat circuitous path" to protect women from discrimination based upon them breastfeeding. The Bill amends subsection 28B 6 to provide that the sexual harassment need only occur at the workplace of one of the workplace participants. The key changes are as follows: Finally, for the first time at a Commonwealth level, workers will be protected from sexual harassment by customers and clients, as well as by colleagues from other organizations they interacted with though work. The changes are likely to result in an increase in sexual harassment claims in the Australian Human Rights Commission. In a recent publication, we detailed the new bullying jurisdiction which is set to commence on 1 January , and which forms a critical aspect of the recent amendments to the Fair Work Act. The Age Discrimination Commissioner will address the objective of the Age Discrimination Act to protect both younger and older Australians from age discrimination. Update equal opportunity policies to ensure that the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status and relationship status are covered. From 1 January , it will become mandatory for awards and enterprise agreements to include a term which requires an employer to consult with employees about a change to their regular roster or ordinary hours of work. The information in this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Age Discrimination Commissioner The establishment of an Age Discrimination Commissioner is a first in Australia- until now Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick has been responsible for age discrimination issues. From 21 June Schedule 1 amends the Sex Discrimination Act to enhance protections against sex discrimination and sexual harassment to: While the Opposition was successful in removing protections from indirect discrimination on family responsibility grounds, mature age employees in particular will benefit from the creation of the Age Discrimination Commissioner. The Attorney-General's Department stated that it would be 'premature to alter the existing law without full consideration and consultation on the effect this might have on state and territory Births, Deaths and Marriage laws'. What does this mean for you? Review and amend their parental leave policies and practices to ensure that the new minimum entitlements described above are adhered to. Commissioner Broderick noted the Commission was concerned that the Bill preserves the operation of state and territory laws to 'refuse to make, issue or alter an official record of a person's sex if a law of a state or territory requires the refusal because the person is married'. The new provision includes a reference to 'breastfeeding over a period of time' to ensure that a respondent cannot claim that a discriminatory act was lawful because the complainant was not actually breastfeeding at the time the act occurred. A number of other changes will also flow from these amendments, including changes to the right of entry provisions. Other amendments The Bill also relies on the 'postal, telegraphic, telephonic or other like service' power of subsection 51 v of the Constitution to prohibit sexual harassment by way of new technologies. Sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status will be added as new grounds of discrimination in certain areas of public life. Print This Article With recent charges in discrimination laws, employers may find themselves on the receiving end of many more discrimination claims, especially with the broadening of protections from discrimination by "third parties" and protections from "e-harassment". A proposed provision outlawing indirect discrimination on family grounds was removed when the Bill was amended in the Senate. The Bill broadens protection of students from sexual harassment to cover students of any age and harassment beyond someone from the same educational institution. However, the Explanatory Memorandum indicates that the requirement to consult under this new provision will not be triggered by a proposed change where an employee has irregular, sporadic or unpredictable working hours.
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What Is The Pregnancy Discrimination Act?
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