Racial discrimination code of practice - draft released

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Racial discrimination code of practice - draft released

The federal Race Discrimination Commissioner has released a draft Code of Practice aimed at eliminating racial discrimination in employment.

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The federal Race Discrimination Commissioner has released a draft Code of Practice aimed at eliminating racial discrimination in employment.

The Code attempts to provide practical guidance to employers, trade unions, employment agencies and employees in understanding the provisions of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975(RDA). As well as explaining how to implement policies to eliminate racial discrimination, harassment and vilification.

The proposed Code would not of itself impose any legal obligations, nor would it be an authoritative statement of the law. However, non-observance of any of its recommendations may, where the act or omission falls within the specific provisions of the RDA, result in breaches of the law.

The provisions of the Code would also be admissible in any proceedings under the RDA, and where a provision of the Code is relevant, it may be taken into account in determining that question.

The proposed Code outlines the ‘reasonable steps’ that can be taken by employers to prevent racial discrimination. These include:

  • obtaining senior management support for implementing a comprehensive
    strategy to address racial discrimination;
  • putting in place a policy concerning racial discrimination, harassment and
    vilification;
  • training all line managers on their role in ensuring that the workplace is free
    from racial discrimination, harassment and vilification;
  • conducting awareness raising sessions for all employees on these issues; and,
  • conducting regular analysis and review of existing policies and procedures.

Copies of the Code can be obtained from the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission on (02) 9284 9600.

The Commissioner is seeking comments and suggestions on the contents of the Code, and these will be accepted until 28 February 1997. The final version of the Code is expected to be released shortly thereafter.

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