Discrimination exemptions - some okay, some not

Cases

Discrimination exemptions - some okay, some not

Hobsons Bay City Council in Victoria was granted exemptions from the State's anti-discrimination laws to allow it to introduce a phased retirement scheme for employees aged over 55. However, an Australian Defence contractor has been refused an exemption from racial discrimination laws that had been sought in order to meet US security requirements.

WantToReadMore

Get unlimited access to all of our content.

Hobsons Bay City Council in Victoria was granted exemptions from the State's anti-discrimination laws to allow it to introduce a phased retirement scheme for employees aged over 55. However, an Australian Defence contractor has been refused an exemption from racial discrimination laws that had been sought in order to meet US security requirements.

Phased retirement okay

Hobsons Bay City Council in Victoria was granted exemptions from the State's anti-discrimination laws to allow it to introduce a phased retirement scheme for employees aged over 55.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal granted the three-year exemption. Employees aged 55 or over can now request reduced hours, fewer days or permission to work from home during a period of up to three years before retiring permanently.

The exemptions were necessary because the phased retirement provisions could otherwise be viewed as advantaging certain employees on the ground of age.

Hobsons Bay City Council (Anti-Discrimination Exemption) [2008] VCAT 163 (18 January 2008)


Alleged security issues not sufficient

An Australian Defence contractor has been refused an exemption from racial discrimination laws that had been sought in order to meet US security requirements.

The Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Commission rejected the company’s arguments that the exemptions were needed to protect Australia's national security and economic interests.

Under relevant contracts, the United States prohibits the transfer of defence information to nationals of third countries or people with dual nationality (other than US citizens).

Commissioner Fitzgerald said the public interest in preventing racial discrimination was the dominant reason for his decision.

He added that he found little evidence of security and economic concerns and that the company had other legal means available for meeting security concerns such as screening checks for all employees.

The Commission concluded:

‘I am unable to completely dismiss the conclusion that Raytheon’s application for exemption is based on convenience rather than necessity ...’

Raytheon Australia Pty Ltd & Ors ADC2007/027 (July 2007)


Related

Australian anti-discrimination and EEO law summarised
 
Post details