ACCI calls for help to stamp out discrimination

News

ACCI calls for help to stamp out discrimination

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has called for anti-discrimination laws to better support employer efforts to combat unacceptable behaviour.

WantToReadMore

Get unlimited access to all of our content.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has called for anti-discrimination laws to better support employer efforts to combat unacceptable behaviour.

Appearing yesterday before the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s inquiry into the Sex Discrimination Act 1984, ACCI called for greater harmonisation of federal, state and territory legislation.

Clashes between laws

Peter Anderson, ACCI chief executive, said employers remain concerned at clashes between differing areas of law and resultant double jeopardy for employers.

He said competing legal systems (particularly unfair dismissal claims) can reduce employers’ capacity to effectively combat harassment and discrimination.

Anderson said ACCI’s submission informed the Senate Committee of cases where employers, acting in good faith to protect employees from sexual harassment, had been subject to unfair dismissal proceedings and in some cases ordered to reinstate the offending employee.

Costly litigation

He said employers are equally concerned at becoming enmeshed in costly and potentially damaging litigation when all possible efforts have been taken to provide a discrimination and harassment free workplace.

ACCI called on all Australian governments to do more to assist industry in achieving even better outcomes in terms of diversity and equal opportunity.

ACCI recommended increased support be given to education campaigns to assist employers, and better sharing of innovative human resources practices designed to eliminate discrimination and harassment.

The Standing Committee of Attorneys-General is currently examining scope to harmonise federal and state discrimination laws. Anderson said key interests such as employer and employee representatives should be invited to have input into this process.

Related

Sex harassment level ‘depressing’, says Gillard

New federal dismissal law: what we don’t know
 

Post details