RLC applauds this action from government to address sexual harassment in the workplace.
In particular, we welcome proposed amendments that will shift the responsibility to eliminate discrimination, sexual harassment and sex-based harassment in the workplace to the employer, including requiring employers to take reasonable measures to eliminate discrimination and harassment and a duty to protect people from hostile workplace environments.
We also welcome the proposal to give greater regulatory powers to the Australian Human Rights Commission to oversee compliance with the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) and moves to provide greater cost protections for complainants, including a no-cost jurisdiction for federal sex discrimination-based claims.
Published in 2020, the Respect@Work report was developed by the Australian Human Rights Commission to report the findings of the national parliamentary investigation on sexual harassment in the workplace.
Informed by submissions from stakeholders in the legal assistance sector such as RLC, Kingsford Legal Centre and Women’s Legal Service NSW, alongside government, industry, unions, people with lived experience and support services, the report produced a framework of 55 recommendations to support the prevention and reporting of sexual harassment at work.
The report also examined the context in which sexual harassment occurs and legal and regulatory systems that can be improved.
RLC regularly advises people who have been fired by their employer for reporting sexual harassment or bullying, and believes these reforms have the potential to make a real difference to our clients experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace.
If you have suffered sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace and need legal advice please contact RLC on 02 9698 7277 or request legal advice at rlc.org.au
Tens of thousands of fines issued during the COVID pandemic are to be withdrawn or refunded by the New South Wales state of Australia after government lawyers conceded on Tuesday that some fines were invalid in a test case brought by a legal advocacy group.