What’s Been Happening in Australia in Relation to Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying from 2 – 8 January 2023

New WHS Changes Ramp Up Gender Equality Measures

Recently, the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Act 2022 has been implemented to meet the needs of the modern workplace. The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations stated that the reforms will add “gender identity, intersex status and breastfeeding” to the list of protected attributes at work. This is in addition to the following attributes that are already protected:
– Race
– Colour
– Sex
– Sexual orientation
– Age
– Physical or mental disability
– Marital status
– Family or carer’s responsibilities
– Pregnancy
– Religion
– Political opinion
– National extraction or social origin.
There will also be provisions dealing directly with discriminatory terms in agreements, awards and general protections.

New Disability Employment Pilot Program Announced

The Federal Government has announced a new disability employment program. The program will be codesigned with the Business Council of Australia (BCA) and implement recommendations from the Jobs and Skills Summit held in September 2022. The government will invest $3.3 million into the pilot program. It will focus on providing more employment for people with disability and development/advancement opportunities once hired.

New Respectful Work Arrangement For Australia Day

The University of Wollongong (UOW) has announced that employees will have the option work on January 26 in a show of respect to First Nations people. This decision aligns with the UOW’s Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2022-2024. The RAP was effective from March 2022. The plan includes guidelines for learning, teaching and working environments free from racism and discrimination. The UOW is committed to equality and inclusivity.