Australian Government agrees to amend the sex discrimination bill
Asia Pacific Focus

Australian Government agrees to amend the sex discrimination bill

The Australian Government announces it will amend legislative laws to attempt to get rid of sexual misbehavior in Australian work environments.

Also, the key measures declared by the public authority on Thursday are to alter the Sex Discrimination Act to incorporate MPs, judges, and public workers who are absolved under current sexual harassment laws. 

Since February, the Australian Government has been criticized for its response to a series of reports related to sexual misconduct, including bad behavior by Liberal National MP Andrew Laming, rape allegation against Christian Porter, which he denies, and alleged rape of Brittany Higgins by a co-worker in the Parliament House.

In March 2020, responding to the [email protected] report made by discrimination commissioner Kate Jenkins, the federal government declared on Thursday that it had acknowledged the majority of the report’s 55 recommendations either in full, to some degree, or in principle.

As per the recommendations, the definition and extent of inappropriate behavior will likewise be expanded, with the serious sexual misconduct provisions in workplace law simplified to create sexual harassment to be a legitimate ground for terminating an employee. 

In another significant change pointed toward urging victims to address their case, will be increased from six months to two years from now to file a complaint in the Australian Human Rights Commission. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated that the federal government will announce funding responsibility for the changes in the budget in May and will recognize that the events of the previous two months have unveiled the need for strict government action.

“There is no uncertainty that the recent month’s events have enforced the importance [of the sexual harassment issue] and highlighted it again,” Morrison added. 

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Senator Michaelia Cash also had highlighted that the changes are needed in the Sex Discrimination Act and to include MPs, state public servants, and judges that are currently excluded from it. She hoped the amendments for MPs and judges would prompt genuine results if they harassed anyone but added that the details were yet being worked out. 

Morrison stated that the issue of harassment in the workplace was a “culture we need to change in our society” and urged individuals to join hands in accomplishing results.

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