Democrat dismay as Senate accepts Government’s pregnancy and work Bill

News

Democrat dismay as Senate accepts Government’s pregnancy and work Bill

The Democrats expressed disappointment when the Senate agreed not to insist on amendments to the Government’s Sex Discrimination Amendment (Pregnancy and Work) Bill 2002 yesterday.

WantToReadMore

Get unlimited access to all of our content.


 

The Democrats expressed disappointment when the Senate agreed not to insist on amendments to the Government’s Sex Discrimination Amendment (Pregnancy and Work) Bill 2002 yesterday.

Senate agreement was reached after the ALP reluctantly decided to support the Government Bill as printed (see previous article).  

Amendment argument

The Democrats were seeking to extend coverage of the Bill to federal statutory employees, judicial office holders, members of parliament and unpaid workers; employees adopting children; a referral of discriminatory awards and agreements to the AIRC without written complaint; and the removal of the exemption for religious educational institutions.

The Previous Federal Attorney General, Darryl Williams, earlier rejected such amendments, indicating they were either covered by the Bill, should handled by a different jurisdiction or were not appropriate (see previous article).

Bill inadequate

In a statement issued yesterday, Democrat Senator Natasha Stott Despoja said:  ‘The Government’s Bill was an inadequate response to the significant HREOC report, ‘Pregnant and Productive: It’s a right not a privilege to work while pregnant’.

’It simply clarified existing provisions of the Act and implemented only three of the 12 HREOC recommendations relating to the Sex Discrimination Act.’

Lengthy response time

Despoja said it had taken four years from the time the HREOC report was released to addressing the report’s concerns in the Bill.

‘It will be extremely regrettable if it takes another four years before we get the chance to deal with such issues again,’ she added. 

 

Post details