Just.Equal Australia has welcomed the Federal Government's move to provide equal workplace discrimination protection to trans, gender diverse and intersex people, a reform Just.Equal has been a key advocate for. But it has called on the Government to ensure the initiative is inclusive of all people who live with innate variations of sex characteristics.
The Government today tabled amendments that will add "gender identity" and "intersex status" as grounds for protection under the Fair Work Act, which until now has only protected wporkers on other grounds incuding sexual orientation.
Just.Equal spokesperson, Sally Golder, said,
"We welcome the Government's decision to protect trans and gender diverse people because the current lack of protection sends the message that discrimination against us in the workplace is acceptable."
"For three years, Just.Equal Australia has been consistently advocating and lobbying for this reform, so we are pleased to see progress."
"We will now be lobbying other parties and independents to ensure that support for protecting trans and gender diverse people is as broad as possible."
Intersex advocate and Just.Equal board member, Cody Smith, said the Government's phrase "intersex status" will not protect all people with innate variations of sex characteristics and the term should be broadened.
"In practical legislative terms, 'intersex status' captures a population that has engaged with the intersex community rather than those living with diverse characteristics."
"People use different language to describe their experiences, and the definition of intersex itself is often disputed from diagnosis to diagnosis."
"What these disparate groups have in common are that they live with innate variations in sex characteristics, and so it is the position of Intersex Human Rights Australia that anti-discrimination law intended to protect intersex people uses 'sex characteristics' as the protected attribute."
Transgender people and people with innate variations of sex characteristics face much higher levels of workplace discrimination than other Australians.
For a copy of this statement on the web, click here
For more information contact Sally Goldner on 0407 946 242 or Cody Smith on 0449 679 325.