New Federal Age Discrimination Bill hits House of Reps

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New Federal Age Discrimination Bill hits House of Reps

Proposed Federal Age discrimination laws that home in on employment, and other aspects of life, were introduced into Federal Parliament yesterday.

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Proposed Federal Age discrimination laws that home in on employment, and other aspects of life, were introduced into Federal Parliament yesterday.

Under the proposed laws, which cover direct and indirect age discrimination, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) will be responsible for awareness, education and complaint handling.

This is the first time that separate age discrimination laws have been introduced in Federal Parliament.

Currently, each of the States and Territories cover age discrimination legislation, and age is a prohibited ground for discrimination under HREOC legislation.

‘Despite the important economic and social contribution of older and younger Australians, age discrimination continues to be a significant barrier to equal participation of all Australians in public life', according to a statement issued by the Department of the Federal Attorney-General.

Employment elements

The Bill seeks to make it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a person because of their age.

The scope of the Bill covers all aspects of deciding who should be offered work, determining wages and conditions, access to training, promotion, transfers or other benefits, dismissing an employee or subjecting employees to any detriment.

Contract workers

The proposed laws cut across contractors, making it unlawful to discriminate against contract workers on the basis of age in the terms or conditions of their contracts, denying access to benefits associated with the contract or subjecting the contractor to any detriment.

Partnerships

Where six or more people propose to form a partnership, it will be unlawful to discriminate against a person on the grounds age in determining who should be invited to become a partner.

It will also be unlawful to deny partners access to benefits, expel partners or subject partners to any detriment because of their age.

Employment agencies

Employment agencies won't be able to discriminate against a person because of age. They won't be able to refuse to provide agency services. Nor will they be able to discriminate in the terms or conditions of the services offered, or in the way the services are provided because of a person's age.

Exemption for youth wages

Special provision is made for youth wages. In relation to such wages, it won't be unlawful to discriminate against another person on the ground of the other person's age.

For detail on the Bill go to the Parliament of Australia website

 

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