Respect@Work lite leaves workers vulnerable

14 September, 2021

The federal government has missed a landmark opportunity to address workplace harassment following the passage of its watered-down Respect@Work legislation.

The legislation formed part of the government’s response to the Human Rights Commission’s 2020 Respect@Work report developed by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins.

That report made 55 recommendations to address sexual harassment. The government’s bill addressed only six of the report’s recommendations.

Changes introduced by the bill include:

  • Making sexual harassment a sackable offence;
  • Extending the timeframe for employees lodging a sexual harassment complaint with the Human Rights Commission from six to 24 months; and
  • Recognising sexual harassment as a workplace health and safety issue.

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