Employers have a legal responsibility not to discriminate against employees and to take all reasonable steps to prevent discrimination, harassment, victimisation or bullying.
Employers may also be held ‘vicariously liable’ for the actions of their partners, colleagues, employees, agents or contract workers. Employers must also ensure that people who make a complaint, or are involved in a complaint in any way, are not victimised or treated less favourably as a result. For an employer to avoid liability for workplace harassment, discrimination or other unlawful behaviour, they need to be able to demonstrate they took ‘all reasonable steps’.
‘Reasonable steps’ will vary based on the size of the organisation. It may include putting in place policies and procedures to create a discrimination-free environment. It could also include procedures to deal with allegations of discrimination and harassment made by employees or customers.
Preventing or effectively managing unlawful behaviour has other benefits.
The ASX Corporate Governance Council has introduced a requirement for Australian listed companies to adopt and disclose a diversity policy and measurable objectives relating to gender or explain why they have not done so.
In this section, you will find resources to help you understand your compliance responsibilities and developments in case law. Select the area you are interested in from the list below. Please note that to see all member only pages you will need to be logged in as a member.
- What's new in compliance?
- The business case for compliance
- Unlawful workplace behaviour
- Leading Compliance Practice Principles
- Legislation and other compliance requirements
- Making a complaint
- WGEA reporting requirements
- ASX diversity guidelines
- Public sector compliance
- Case law
- Event webcasts