What’s Been Happening in Australia in Relation to Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying from 15 – 21 August 2022

Judicial Officer Appropriate Workplace Conduct Policy

A statement was released this week by the Courts Administration Authority of South Australia announcing that judicial officers are required to report any consensual relationships with staff. The Courts recognise that judicial officers have a power imbalance with their staff. Therefore, a sexual relationship with another member of staff may be inappropriate. The policy amendment was made in an attempt to address sexual harassment in the legal industry.

Speech to NT Resources Week Conference

On 24 August, the Minister for Resources and Minister for Northern Australia delivered a speech at the NT Resources Week conference. The Hon Madeleine King MP acknowledged that as the first woman to hold the position of Minister for Resources, she takes sexual harassment and bullying of women in the resources industry very seriously. She addressed the WA Parliamentary inquiry into sexual harassment in the FIFO industry, which revealed a culture of harassment and bullying against women. She confirmed that all recommendations from the Respect@Work report will be implemented.

PwC Fires Nine People Over Misconduct

Nine employees have been dismissed from PwC for misconduct, including bullying, sexual harassment and data breaches. PwC investigated 31 allegations in the 2022 financial year. The firm substantiated 11 incidents of bullying or harassment were confirmed and 6 cases of sexual harassment. The details of all alleged incidents are included in the transparency report, published on 16 August.

LGBTQIA+ Workers Left Out of Jobs And Skills Summit

The Jobs + Skills Summit Issues Paper was published by the Labor Party and failed to address LGBTQIA+ issues. Other groups that experience discrimination were included. Despite the LGBT+ community being particularly vulnerable to discrimination, they were left out. Stephen Bates MP, Greens LGBT+ Spokesperson, commenting that the decision to omit LGBT+ people from the report shows a lack of commitment to the rights of all workers. Transgender individuals are three times more likely to be unemployed than the national average. Stephen Bates MP also commented on the ability of religious groups to still be exempt from treating LGBT+ people equally.