Call to support workplace protections for transgender and intersex people

Equality advocates are disappointed the Federal Government has chosen not to ensure equal workplace protections for transgender and intersex Australians, and have urged supporters of equality to speak up now.

The Government’s Bill responding to the Respect@Work inquiry was tabled last week without hoped-for amendments to the Fair Work Act explicitly protecting employees from unfair treatment and unlawful dismissal on the grounds of gender identity or sex characteristics.

But an inquiry was launched that will allow the case for this reform to be made. Submissions close on July 9.

Just.Equal Australia spokesperson, Charlie Burton, said more protections were needed.

“The Fair Work Act protects workers from discrimination on a range of grounds to which gender identity and sex characteristics should be added.”

“We are disappointed the Government hasn’t done this through the Respect@Work legislation, despite our many representations.”

“But the inquiry is an opportunity for LGBTIQA+ people and our allies to make the case that trans, gender diverse and intersex employees deserve the same workplace protections as other workers.”

“It is important for many and varied supporters of equality to make the case because, even if it doesn’t change the Government’s mind, it will give Labor, the Greens and independents members the evidence they need to amend the legislation.” Dr Burton said.

The initial report from Kate Jenkins, Sex Discrimination Commission at the Human Rights Commission, recognised that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or intersex (LGBTQI) workers were more likely to experience sexual harassment in the workplace.

For more about the inquiry and to send a submission head to the Federal Parliament website.

Source: Media Release

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