Anti-Discrimination codes of practice for NSW

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Anti-Discrimination codes of practice for NSW

Legislation commencing today allows the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board to issue codes of practice that have relevance to decisions of the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal, although they are not legally binding.

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Legislation commencing today allows the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board to issue codes of practice that have relevance to decisions of the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal, although they are not legally binding.

The Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2004 contained a number of changes to the practice and enforcement of EEO and anti-discrimination generally in NSW.

Codes of practice

The Attorney-General, Bob Debus, in delivering his second reading speech when the legislation was introduced noted:

'The Board already develops guidelines to assist others, such as employers, to comply with the Anti-Discrimination Act. ...

A code of practice is designed to provide guidance in relation to the conduct that constitutes discrimination under the Act and ways in which it can be avoided.

The codes will not be legally binding, but evidence of compliance with, or contravention of, a code may be taken into account by the president or the tribunal during the investigation or review process.

The development and promotion of codes of conduct, which will be done in consultation with relevant representative bodies and industry groups, is consistent with the board's educational role on human rights and discrimination matters. …'

Other changes

Some other changes to note include:

  • The Act provides that a complainant must lodge a complaint within 12 months of the alleged discriminatory conduct - previously six months.
  • New section 89 provides that a complaint must be in writing, but it does not have to take any particular form or to demonstrate a prima facie case.
  • The Act allows for the establishment of an electronic system for lodging complaints and thus removes the requirement for a person to put his or her signature to a complaint.
  • Certain changes to the appeal process also come into play.
  • The Act extends the current law to provide that where the tribunal finds a complaint substantiated, it may order the respondent to publish an apology or a retraction in a suitable publication. Previously this kind of order applied only to complaints of vilification.

Details on the legislation can be gleaned from the Second Reading speech.

The legislation in Bill form can be read here.

Related

Entry page to collection of writings on EEO


 

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