Human rights body warns discrimination still illegal

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Human rights body warns discrimination still illegal

Unfair dismissal protection may have gone for many workers, but it is still illegal for employers to dismiss workers on the basis of race, sex, disability and age.

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Unfair dismissal protection may have gone for many workers, but it is still illegal for employers to dismiss workers on the basis of race, sex, disability and age.

Since the introduction of the federal Government's new WorkChoices industrial relations laws in March, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) has been reminding people that federal and state laws still prohibit employers from dismissing people on the basis of race, sex, disability and age through it's 'Work out your Rights' campaign.

The HREOC website is carrying information sheets on anti-discrimination laws and employment, conciliation and complaint information, employment-related case studies, frequently asked questions, and conciliation information in various community languages, as well as several posters and brochures to download.

Anti-discrimination laws

It points out that anti-discrimination laws cover discrimination based on sex, pregnancy, marital status or family responsibilities; race, colour, national origin, ethnic origin or descent; actual or imputed disability, physical, intellectual and psychiatric disability, work related injury, and mature aged or youth discrimination.

People are also protected against unfair treatment in employment and occupation on the grounds of religion, political opinion, social origin, criminal record, sexual preference or trade union activity.

It says employees (including casuals, probationers, contract workers, commission agents, part-time and/or full-time) can make a complaint to HREOC if they feel they have been discriminated against.

Information

Information and resources for employees and their advocates can be found on the 'Work out your Rights' section of the Commission's website.

For more information, contact the Commission's complaints infoline on 1300 656 419, email it at complaintsinfo@humanrights.gov.au or log on to the complaints help page.

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