Queensland’s Anti-Discrimination laws will undergo a review to ensure they meet international best practice.
The Queensland Human Rights Commission will undertake the review of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991, providing its report by 30 June 2022.
Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman wants to know if the law is effective at protecting and promoting equality in addition to non-discrimination.
“It will consider how we can make the process easier for victims of discrimination to make and defend complaints,” she said.
“Making sure our laws protect and promote equality for our diverse communities is a key priority for the Palaszczuk government.”
Queensland’s Anti-Discrimination laws to undergo review
The Wayne Goss Labor government first introduced the Anti-Discrimination Act on 26 November 1991.
The-then Attorney General Dean Wells told the parliament the law’s objective was to promote equality of opportunity for everyone by protecting them from unfair discrimination, sexual harassment in addition to other objectionable conduct.
Thirty years on, current Attorney-General Fentiman says it’s time to take stock.
“The anniversary provides a timely opportunity to conduct this holistic review of our anti-discrimination laws to ensure they continue to provide those protections in a contemporary setting,” she said.
Protected attributes to be reviewed
Firstly, the QHRC will review the compatibility of the Act with Queensland’s Human Rights Act, which commenced on 1 January 2020.
The Commission will also consider the protected attributes under the legislation, and whether others need to be added.
Additionally, the Commission will also consider the implementation of recommendations from the Australian Human Rights Commission’s [email protected]: Sexual Harassment Report.
“I have asked the Commission to provide options for legally requiring all employers to take positive measures to eliminate sex discrimination, sexual harassment and also victimisation as far as possible in their organisations,” Fentiman said.
Good time for review
Employment law expert Miles Heffernan from Discrimination Claims welcomed the review.
His firm files dozens of discrimination claims for clients every year.
“A lot has changed in 30 years, so therefore, now is a good time to review the legislation,” he said.
“Especially when you consider that we now have a Human Rights Act here in Queensland.”
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