Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment Bill 2021
The submission to the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee in response to the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment Bill 2021 (Bill) was prepared by the Law Council of Australia.
The Law Council notes that the Bill is part of the government’s broader response to sexual harassment in Australian workplaces, as outlined in the Roadmap for Respect: Preventing and addressing sexual harassment in Australian workplaces,1 being the government’s formal response to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s (AHRC) Respect@Work Report. 2
The Law Council also notes the Explanatory Memorandum and, in particular, that the Bill aims to give effect to the Respect@Work Recommendations (Recommendations) 16, 20, 21, 22, 29, and 30.3
While the Bill (and its Explanatory Memorandum) do not purport to do so, it is observed that the Bill does not address all the Respect@Work Recommendations relevant to federal law reform.
The Law Council otherwise appreciates Parliament having referred this important Bill for consideration by the Committee and broader consultation. The Law Council has considered the Bill in consultation with its Constituent Bodies, Sections and expert Advisory Committees, and is supportive of the Australian Government’s efforts to drive necessary change through federal law reform.
You can read the full submission below.
1 Australian Government, A Roadmap for Respect: Preventing and Addressing Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces (April 2021) 12 (Roadmap) available online.
2 Australian Human Rights Commission, Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report (2020) (5 March 2020),(Respect@Work) available online.
3 Explanatory memorandum, Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment Bill 2021 (Bill).