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Political belief or activity discrimination is unlawful

In Queensland, as in many states, it in unlawful to discriminate against a person because of their political belief or activity.

Political belief or activity can include beliefs or activities relating to:

  • the policies,
  • structure,
  • composition,
  • roles,
  • obligations,
  • purposes, or
  • activities of government.

Government includes the Commonwealth, State and local governments.

What is political belief or activity discrimination?

Direct discrimination is treating a person less favourably because of their political belief or activity, or because they hold different political beliefs, than someone without the political belief or activity or different political beliefs would be treated in similar circumstances.

For example, a hotel manager refused to allow a group to hold a meeting at the hotel because he did not agree with the political views of the group.

It is also unlawful to discriminate against a person because of their association with a person identified on the basis of their political belief or activity – such as a friend, family member or co-worker.

For example, a man is the best qualified applicant for a job with a local small business, but is unsuccessful because his wife is the local MP and the business owner doesn’t agree with her views.

When and where is political belief or activity discrimination unlawful?

Discrimination on the basis of political belief or activity is unlawful in all aspects of work, including recruitment, terms and conditions on which a job is offered, employment benefits, training, transfers, promotion and dismissal.

It is also unlawful when a person is:

  • a customer in a shop or restaurant;
  • a student at school or university (if it is by the educator);
  • looking for accommodation;
  • applying for credit, insurance or a loan; or
  • when dealing with tradespeople, businesses or State or local government.

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LAST UPDATED: January 2023

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