MAJOR PARTIES FAIL TO ENDORSE TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX WORKPLACE BIAS PROTECTIONS
ADVOCATES TO WORK WITH GREENS TO AMEND FAIR WORK ACT
Equality advocates have welcomed Green support for amending existing workplace discrimination laws to provide equal protection for trans, gender diverse and intersex Australians, but are unhappy neither major party has endorsed the reform.
Today, the Senate inquiry into the Government's Respect@Work package handed down its report, with both major parties ignoring recommendations from Just.Equal Australia, the Australian Discrimination Law Experts Group and the Diversity Council of Australia that trans, gender diverse and intersex Australians have equal protections under the Fair Work Act.
Advocates say they will now liaise with the Greens to introduce relevant amendments to the Fair Work Act that will add gender identity and variations of sex characteristics to the list of protected attributes already covered in the Act including race, sex and sexual orientation.
Just.Equal Australia spokesperson, Dr Charlie Burton, said,
"We welcome Green support for our recommendations and are deeply disappointed that both major parties have ignored them."
"This is a simple reform that would replicate existing protections in other discrimination laws, and that would ensure trans, gender diverse and intersex workers have the same sense of employment security as other workers."
"We will now seek to work with the Greens to ensure necessary amendments are introduced."
Both Dr Burton and Intersex Human Rights Australia senior project officer, Cody Smith, pointed to much higher rates of workplace bias against trans, gender diverse and intersex Australians.
Dr Burton noted studies showing
30% of trans and gender diverse people have faced workplace discrimination while up to 40% are unemployed.
Cody Smith said,
"Statistics show that 41% of intersex people exist in the lowest income bracket. Intersex people can face workplace discrimination based on social stigma, and can be cut off from workplace adjustments that entitle disabled workers to additional medical leave. "
"Additionally, the parents of intersex children may need extra supports at work. It is vital that intersex people are acknowledged and protected in the workplace."
The Respect@Work package is the Government's response to the Human Rights Commission's national inquiry into sexual harassment in the workplace.
For a copy of this statement online, click here
For more information contact Dr Charlie Burton on 0402 016 625 or Cody Smith via firstname.lastname@example.org