Publications

Submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee on Consolidation of Anti-Discrimination Laws

The Business Council of Australia approaches the introduction of any new regulation from the perspective of the trade-offs that it necessarily requires.

The extension of new protections and the new arrangements applying to employers and those providing goods and services or otherwise interacting with individuals within society, must be balanced against the costs to individuals, businesses and the economy.

In the case of consolidating Commonwealth anti-discrimination law, the Bill proposes a significant increase in the level of protection afforded to individuals and some significant additional costs to business.
The BCA is disappointed that the relevant provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 were not included and that the Regulatory Impact Statement did not fully assess the costs associated with the changes proposed.
The BCA has three major areas of concern with the Bill as it stands.
  • The reverse onus of proof is already problematic in the Fair Work Act 2009 and is likely to be problematic in this new area of law.
  • The new arrangements will have the effect of shifting the balance in favour of applicants and to the detriment of those defending themselves against claims.
  • The arrangements would introduce a high degree of uncertainty, with the associated costs that this would entail.

Access the Business Council of Australia Submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee on Consolidation of Anti-Discrimination Laws here.