Diversity Council Australia (DCA) congratulates the Sex Discrimination Commissioner on the important and thorough examination of the issue of sex-based and sexual harassment at work in the report Respect@Work tabled this afternoon in parliament.
DCA strongly supports the high-level recommendations in the recently tabled Respect@Work report.
We believe it is very important that the government includes sexual and sex-based harassment as an area for action under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022.
We also support the proposed changes to the Sex Discrimination Act, to clarify and streamline the legal processes around sexual harassment, including making clear that the purpose of the Act is to support gender equality. However, we would note that the progressive reforms being proposed here are diametrically opposed to the government’s proposals under the religious discrimination bills which would erode discrimination protections for women (and other people).
DCA agrees with the report’s sensible recommendations that specific pieces of work are undertaken by expert organisations such as ANROWS, Our Watch, 1800 Respect (and others). We believe that it is critical that these organisations are appropriately funded for this important additional work.
DCA was also pleased to note the proposed coming together of leading agencies in this space to form the Workplace Sexual Harassment Council to make sense of the complicated legal framework and share data, resources and information.
DCA made a submission to the National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment. You can read our submission here: https://www.dca.org.au/submissions/workplace-sexual-harassment-inquiry
Media contact: Diane Falzon, 0430 596 699, Catherine Petterson, 0419 447 331.