Equal Opportunity Law

Equal employment opportunity and anti-description laws in Australia are covered under both federal and state legislation and are designed to promote diversity in the workplace, which can include having employees of different ages, gender, ethnicity, physical ability, sexual orientation, religious belief, work experience, educational background, and so on.

Employers are required by these laws to create a workplace free form unlawful, discrimination and harassment. It’s important that employers understand their rights and responsibilities under these laws . Putting effective anti-discrimination and anti-harassment procedures in place within a business is necessary to minimize the risk of these claims for employer.

There are several laws that need be taken into consideration when creating and implementing EEO policies. Which is why working with an employment law specialist is key.

The following laws operate at a federal level and the Australian Human Rights Commission has statutory responsibilities under them:

  • Age Discrimination Act 2004
  • Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992
  • Racial Discrimination Act 1975
  • Sex Discrimination Act 198

The following laws operate at a State and territory level, with State and territory equal opportunity and anti-discrimination agencies having statutory responsibilities under them:

  • Australian Capital Territory – Discrimination Act 1991
  • New South Wales – Anti-Discrimination Act 1977
  • Northern Territory – Anti-Discrimination Act 1996
  • Queensland – Anti-Discrimination Act 1991
  • South Australia – Equal Opportunity Act 1984
  • Tasmania – Anti-Discrimination Act 1998
  • Victoria – Equal Opportunity Act 2010
  • Western Australia – Equal Opportunity Act 1984

Commonwealth laws and the State/territory laws generally overlap and prohibit the same type of discrimination. As both State/territory laws and Commonwealth laws apply, you must comply with both. However, the laws apply in slightly different ways and there are some gaps and exemptions in the protection that is offered between different States and territories and at a Commonwealth level. To work out your obligations get in contact with us and allow us to protect you and your business.