Age Discrimination - federal changes proposed

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Age Discrimination - federal changes proposed

In August 2002 the Federal Government established a Core Consultative Group of key stakeholders to assist in developing a Bill on age discrimination.

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In August 2002 the Federal Government established a Core Consultative Group of key stakeholders to assist in developing a Bill on age discrimination.

The Government was re-elected last year on a platform that included significant initiatives to assist older and younger Australians in a number of important areas. One priority is the development of legislation to ban discrimination on the basis of age.

Unlike sex, race and disability discrimination, age is not currently prohibited by federal legislation.

The Government consulted widely with organisations representing business, employers and employees, older people and younger generations, to seek their views about important issues regarding age discrimination.

The Core Consultative Group will contribute to a detailed proposal for an Age Discrimination Bill.

This week the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) will meet with officials from the federal Attorney General's department to discuss the employment and workplace relations implications of the proposed federal age discrimination legislation. These implications noted by ACCI include, among other matters, the protection of youth wages, the retention of the right of employers to establish performance and productivity criteria for employees without risk of litigation, the right to dismiss non-performing employees and the need to protect training and traineeship employment.

ACCI will also be seeking some explanation as to how such a law would operate given that the Australian Industrial Relations Commission already makes awards or approves agreements that refer to age-based issues.

 

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