Human Rights

Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay and equal opportunity for equal work.

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A violation of human rights claim can take immense time for those who have not done it before. That time and your claim can go to waste if it is not lodged the right way within the given timeframe. We are here to lodge professional discrimination claims the right way, Maximizing your chance of compensation and justice.

What Are Human Rights?

Everyone has the equal opportunities in Australia such as a right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay and equal opportunity for equal work.

Discrimination occurs when a person, or a group of people, is treated less favourably than another person or group because of these protected attributes. We can help if you have been refused a job, dismissed from a job, refused a promotion, transfer or other benefit associated with employment, given unfair terms or conditions of employment, refused training opportunities, refused flexible work arrangements or if you have been harassed or bullied and you believe this is because of a protected attribute. 

If you are faced with a similar situation, please give us a free call as soon as possible.

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Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws

In Australia, it is unlawful to discriminate on the basis of a number of protected attributes including age, disability, race, sex, intersex status, gender identity and sexual orientation in certain areas of public life, including education and employment. Australia’s federal anti-discrimination laws are contained within the Age Discrimination Act 2004, Disability Discrimination Act 1992, Racial Discrimination Act 1975 and the Sex Discrimination Act 1984.

In the area of employment, all employers have a responsibility to make sure that their employees and prospective employees are treated fairly. This responsibility is set out in not only federal legislation, but state anti-discrimination laws and the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

Under Federal Human Rights laws, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person, or group of people, because of their sex, gender identity, intersex status, sexual orientation, marital or relationship status, family responsibilities, pregnancy status and breastfeeding status. Aforementioned, these human rights are protected under both federal and state legislation.

If you feel you or someone you know is a victim of discrimination in Australia you need to call us immediately and speak with an expert about your rights as a human being.

Discrimination Comes in Different Forms

Under federal and state legislation discrimination can exist in a workplace based on someones sex, gender, sexual orientation, marital or relationship status, breastfeeding and family responsibilities.

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Sex

Under federal legislation, a person cause make a human rights claim in the Australian Human Rights Commission, under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth), to receive fair treatment in employment, education, accommodation and in the provision of goods and services.

Sex discrimination happens when a person, or group of people, who possess one of these attributes, is treated less favourably than a person who does not possess one of these attributes in the same or similar circumstances. For instance, if a male employee is receiving a higher pay than a female employee for the same work. This is an example of direct discrimination.

Discrimination also happens when there is a rule or policy that is the same for everyone but has an unfair effect on people of a particular sex. This is indirect discrimination on the basis of sex. For instance, it is Company policy for all managers to work full-time. This may be indirect discrimination as it would disadvantage women who are more likely to need to work part-time or flexible hours due to parental responsibilities.

Gender Identity and Intersex

Gender identity discrimination happens when a person is treated less favourably because of that person’s gender-related identity, appearance or mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics of the person. It does not matter what sex a person was assigned at birth or whether the person has undergone any medical intervention.

This can occur directly where an employee refuses to serve a customer who identifies and presents themselves as a woman but has a deep masculine sounding voice because they felt uncomfortable about that customer’s gender identity.

Intersex discrimination happens when a person is treated less favourably because of that person’s physical, hormonal or genetic features that are a combination of female and male, neither wholly female nor wholly male or neither female nor male.

This can occur directly where an employee refuses to work in a team with a fellow employee because their biological characteristics make them uncomfortable.

Discrimination on these two basis can also occur indirectly, where there is a requirement or practice that is the same for everyone but has an unfair effect on people of a particular gender identity. For instance, employers forcing employees to use male or female toilets without providing a gender neutral or unisex bathroom.

Sexual Orientation

Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is when a person is treated less favourably because that person has a sexual orientation towards persons of the same sex, persons of a different sex or persons of the same and different sex.

Direct discrimination on this basis occurs where an employer refused to promote an employee because they have become aware that the employee is homosexual.

An example of indirect discrimination on this basis can occur where employers have company policies that offers benefits to an employee’s husband or wife, such as discounted travel or gym membership. This may disadvantage employees with a same-sex partner because of their sexual orientation and/or relationship status.

Marital or Relationship Status

Discrimination on the ground of marital or relationship status happens when a person is treated less favourably because the person is single, married, married but living separately and apart from his or her spouse, divorced, the de facto partner of another person, the de facto partner of another person but living separately and apart from that other person, the former de facto partner of another person, the surviving spouse or de facto partner of a person who has died.

Direct discrimination on this basis can occur where an employer decides not to employ married women because it assumes she will want to start a family.
Indirect discrimination on this basis can occur when a company offers only married employees working in remote locations allowances and leave to visit their families. This disadvantages employees who are single or in de facto relationships.

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Breastfeeding

Direct discrimination on this basis when a woman is treated less favourably because she is breastfeeding or needs to breastfeed over a period of time. For example, it would be direct discrimination if a cafe refused to serve a woman because she is breastfeeding. Indirect breastfeeding discrimination occurs when there is a requirement or practice that is the same for everyone but disadvantages women who are breastfeeding. For example, it may be indirect discrimination if an employer does not allow staff to take short breaks at particular times during the day. This may disadvantage women who are breastfeeding as they may need to take breaks to pump breast milk.

Family Responsibilities

Family responsibilities discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favourably than another person because the person has family responsibilities. Under the SDA, family responsibilities include responsibilities to care for or support a dependent child or a member of your immediate family. For example, it may be discrimination for an employer to refuse to employ a person, demote a person or reduce a person’s hours of work because the person needs to care for a family member.

State Anti-Discrimination Laws

The following laws operate at a state and territory level, with state and territory equal opportunity and anti- discrimination bodies having statutory responsibilities under them.

Australian Capital Territory – Discrimination Act 1991

In the Australian Capital Territory, the anti-discrimination laws provide protection on the basis of sex, sexuality, gender identity, relationship status, status as a parent or carer, pregnancy, breastfeeding, race, religious or political conviction, disability, including aid of assistance animal, industrial activity, age, profession, trade, occupation or calling, spent conviction, and association (as a relative or otherwise) with a person who has one of the above attributes. Sexual harassment and vilification on the basis of race, sexuality, gender identity or HIV/AIDS status are also prohibited under this Act.

 

These laws cover the area of employment, including discrimination against commission agents and contract workers, partnerships, professional or trade organisations, qualifying bodies, employment agencies, education, access to premises, provision of goods, services or facilities, accommodation, clubs, and requests for information.

New South Wales – Anti-Discrimination Act 1977

In New South Wales, the anti-discrimination laws provide protection on the basis of race, including colour, nationality, descent and ethnic, ethno-religious or national origin, sex, including pregnancy and breastfeeding, marital or domestic status, disability, homosexuality, age, transgender status, and carer’s responsibilities. Sexual harassment and vilification on the basis of race, homosexuality, transgender status or HIV/AIDS status are also prohibited under this Act.

 

These laws cover discrimination in employment, including discrimination against commission agents and contract workers, partnerships, industrial organisations, qualifying bodies, employment agencies, education, provision of goods and services, accommodation, and registered clubs.

Northern Territory – Anti-Discrimination Act 1996

In the Northern Territory, the anti-discrimination laws provide protection on the basis of race, sex, sexuality, age, marital status, pregnancy, parenthood, breastfeeding, impairment, trade union or employer association activity, religious belief or activity, irrelevant criminal record, political opinion, affiliation or activity, irrelevant medical record, and association with person with an above attribute. Sexual harassment is also prohibited under this Act.

These laws cover discrimination in education, work, accommodation, provision of goods, services and facilities, clubs, insurance, and superannuation.

Queensland – Anti-Discrimination Act 1991

In Queensland, the anti-discrimination laws provide protection on the basis of sex, relationship status, pregnancy, parental status, breastfeeding, race, age, impairment, religious belief or religious activity, political belief or activity, trade union activity, lawful sexual activity, gender identity, sexuality, family responsibilities, and association with or in relation to a person who has any of the above attributes. Sexual harassment and vilification on the basis of race, religion, sexuality or gender identity are also prohibited under this Act.

These laws cover discrimination in work and work-related areas (paid and unpaid), education, provision of goods and services, superannuation and insurance, disposal of land, accommodation, club membership and affairs, administration of state laws and programs, local government, qualifications, industrial, trade, professional or business organisation membership, and existing partnership and in pre-partnership.

South Australia – Equal Opportunity Act 1984

In South Australia, the anti-discrimination laws provide protection on the basis of sex, breastfeeding, including bottle feeding, chosen gender, sexuality, marital or domestic partnership status, pregnancy, race, age, disability, including aid of assistance animal, association with a child, caring responsibilities, religious appearance or dress, and spouse or partner’s identity. Sexual harassment is also prohibited under this Act.

These laws cover discrimination in employment, partnerships, clubs and associations, qualifying bodies, education, provision of goods and services, accommodation, sale of land, advertising (including employment agencies), conferral of qualifications, and superannuation.

Tasmania – Anti-Discrimination Act 1998

In Tasmania, the anti-discrimination laws provide protection on the basis of age, breastfeeding, disability, family responsibilities, gender, gender identity, intersex status, industrial activity, irrelevant criminal record, irrelevant medical record, lawful sexual activity, marital status, relationship status, parental status, political activity, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy, race, religious activity, religious belief or affiliation, sexual orientation, and association with a person who has, or is believed to have, any of these attributes. Sexual harassment and the incitement of hatred on the basis of race, disability, sexual orientation, lawful sexual activity, or religious belief, affiliation or activity are also prohibited under this Act.

These laws cover discrimination in employment (paid and unpaid), education and training, provision of facilities, goods and services, accommodation, membership and activities of clubs, administration of any law of the State or any State program, and awards, enterprise agreements and industrial agreements.

Victoria – Equal Opportunity Act 2010

In Victoria, the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 provide protection for discrimination on the basis of age, breastfeeding, disability, employment activity, gender identity, industrial activity, lawful sexual activity, marital status, parental status or status as a carer, physical features, political belief or activity, pregnancy, race (including colour, nationality, ethnicity and ethnic origin), religious belief or activity, sex, sexual orientation, and personal association with someone who has, or is assumed to have, any of these personal characteristics. Sexual harassment is also prohibited under this Act. Victoria also has the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 (VIC) in which vilification on the basis of race or religion is prohibited under this Act.

These laws cover discrimination in employment, partnerships, firms, qualifying bodies, industrial organisations, education, provision of goods and services, disposal of land, accommodation (including alteration of accommodation), clubs, sport, and local government.

Western Australia – Equal Opportunity Act 1984

In Western Australia, the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (WA) provides protection for discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation (including by association), marital status, pregnancy, breastfeeding, race, religious or political conviction, age (including by association), impairment (including by association), family responsibility or family status, gender history, and publication of relevant details on Fines Enforcement Registrar’s website. Sexual harassment and racial harassment are also prohibited under this Act. Western Australia also has the Spent Convictions Act 1988 (WA) in which discrimination on the basis of having a spent conviction is prohibited under this Act.

These laws cover discrimination in employment, including against applicants, commission agents and contract workers, partnerships, professional or trade organisations, qualifying bodies, employment agencies, application forms, advertisements, education, access to places and vehicles, provision of goods, services and facilities, accommodation, clubs, and land. Discrimination

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