Welcome progress on respect at work

02 September 2021

The Business Council commends federal parliament for taking strong action today towards stamping out sexual harassment and discrimination in Australian workplaces.

“There is no place for sexual harassment or discrimination in our workplaces and these changes will give victims greater protections,’’ Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“Everyone has the right to feel safe and respected at work. High performing businesses have no tolerance for harassment and discrimination.

“Importantly, the changes also provide greater clarity regarding the obligations on businesses to provide a safe workplace.

“The Respect@Work legislation includes measures to clarify and broaden the definition of sexual harassment.

“It expands the coverage of the Sex Discrimination Act to include judges and members of parliament who were previously exempt and amends the Fair Work Act to confirm that dismissal of employees for sexual harassment is a valid reason for dismissal.

“Today’s changes deliver one element of the recommendations made by the Respect@Work Report and the steps set out in the government’s ‘Roadmap to Respect’ in response to the report.

“We applaud Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins on her efforts, and we congratulate Attorney-General Michaelia Cash.

“There is still more work to be done. We look forward to being part of the ongoing process to implement further reforms in this area.’’


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