This led to the Government introducing and passing similar legislation – the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment Bill 2021 that ensures sexual harassment is prohibited in all public life.
Zali Steggall MP has welcomed the Prime Minister’s endorsement of all 55 recommendations from the Respect@Work report from the Human Rights Commission and calls for the Government to immediately adopt the Sex Discrimination Act Amendment (Prohibiting All Sexual Harassment) Bill.
Ms Steggall introduced the Private Member’s Bill to Parliament on March 15. This Bill:
- Simplifies definition of sexual harassment to be prohibited in all circumstances, including for MPs and Judges
- Cancels the exemption for state public servants
- Prohibits aiding and abetting sexual harassment
“Today’s announcement is a win for everyone who has been calling on the Government to act on sexual harassment, particularly the tens of thousands of people who marched for justice last month,” Ms Steggall said.
“The Attorney General Michaelia Cash has said the Government wants to simplify the definition of sexual harassment. Well, you can’t make it any clearer than in the Sex Discrimination Act Amendment (Prohibiting All Sexual Harassment) Bill tabled to Parliament on March 15.
“I am pleased the Government has adopted the recommendations, but this needs to happen without delay,” Ms Steggall said.
“The Sex Discrimination Act Amendment (Prohibiting All Sexual Harassment) Bill is there and ready to be adopted. The changes proposed are clear, tangible and consistent with the recommendations from the Respect@Work report and the Law Council’s National Action Plan to Reduce Sexual Discrimination in the Legal Profession, which all included significant periods of consultation.”
“We need action not words. There is already a blueprint on the table and if the Prime Minister wants a multi-partisan approach to stop sexual harassment, then the Government should adopt the Sex Discrimination Act Amendment (Prohibiting All Sexual Harassment) Bill at the earliest opportunity when Parliament resumes in May.
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