The Federal Parliament has passed the amended Sex and Age
Discrimination Legislation Amendment Bill 2010 which amongst
other things establishes an Age Discrimination Commissioner in the
Australian Human Rights Commission to specifically address issues
facing mature aged workers. The other most significant change is
the addition of grounds for both direct and indirect sexual
harassment for breastfeeding of a child.
The key driver of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984
('Sex Discrimination Act') changes have
been the adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Discrimination Against Women, the International Labour
Organisation ('ILO') Convention concerning
Equal Remuneration for Men and Women Workers for Work of Equal
Value, the ILO Convention concerning Equal Opportunities and Equal
Treatment for Men and Women Workers: Workers with Family
Responsibilities, and the ILO Convention concerning Termination of
Employment at the Initiative of the Employer.
The amended Sex Discrimination Act extends the grounds for
sexual harassment by staff or students of an educational
institution to include sexual harassment against other staff or
students of another educational institution. Further amendments
include grounds for:
Protection from discrimination on family responsibilities for
both men and women in all areas of work
Sexual harassment by customers against staff of a vendor
Prohibition of sexual harassment using a postal, telegraphic,
telephonic or other like service to combat cyber-bullying
An exclusion that allows a state or territory to refuse to
change a persons' sex on an official registry if the person is
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Long experience representing many of Australia's leading employers has taught us that in employment litigation the identity of an employee's representative is a major factor in how employee litigation runs.
Australian employees receive certain entitlements (such as annual leave and superannuation) where contractors do not.
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