DCA has made a submission in response to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Religious Educational Institutions and Anti-Discrimination Laws Inquiry.
The issue of religious freedom and practice in the workplace is one that is of major interest to DCA and our members and we welcome the opportunity to make this submission.
Our submission drew on our earlier research and consultation with DCA members in previous inquiries to respond to the propositions in the consultation paper.
DCA has long held the view that exemptions to anti-discrimination legislation can weaken protections for marginalised groups and that religious exemptions on any grounds should be specifically limited to those circumstances where there is a specific religious element to employment or the provision of goods and services, mirroring inherent requirement and genuine occupational qualifications in other areas.
Previously, DCA has recommended that the government consider harmonisation of anti-discrimination laws, and while it is outside the scope of this inquiry, we believe that a review of all anti-discrimination laws would help provide consistency in this area.