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Incorporation Of Human Rights In Australian Law

541 words - 3 pages

In Australia legislation protecting women from discrimination exists both at state and federal levels. There are two types of sex discrimination, direct discrimination and indirect discrimination. Direct being of a blatant form and easily identified and indirect being covert and harder to detect. Under domestic law consists the sex discrimination act of 1984, the Anti-discrimination act of 1977 and the equal opportunity for women in the workplace act 1999. The sex discrimination act of 1984 aims to eliminate discrimination of the basis of sex, marital status or pregnancy in the key areas of employment and education. This act makes it illegal to discriminate on the above basis, to dismiss someone from their job based on family obligations and to sexually harass someone. This act ...view middle of the document...

The anti- discrimination act of 1977 (NSW) outlaws discrimination on the basis of sex, race, gender, marital status, disability, responsibility as a carer, homosexuality and age. It also establishes the anti-discrimination boards of NSW. Women who feel as if they have been discriminated against can make a complaint to the board which will then investigate the matter and aim to reach a solution. However the effectiveness of the legislation still limited due to the lack of knowledge of rights and reluctance to exercise those rights. This may be due to the fear of dismissal, failure to recognise discrimination has occurred, or simply for the reason that one is unaware that such rights exist. Also a sign indicating that the effectiveness is limited is that a women may still need to return to a hostile work environment even if the situation is resolved which may result in extensive emotional grief for some.

In the article by Paul Tatnell “sexual harassment-the dark shadow” it has been indicated that women being sexually harassed at work will fear the act of making a complaint as they think that it could be detrimental to their careers and a further invasion as personal investigations may be carried out. It is recognised within the article that in a case where a complaint had been made against an employer the employee “was harassed further by their employer because of that”. This indicates that the problem had not been solved but had become extensive. However the tribunal found the original claim to be “baseless” but awarded damages on the second offence of further harassment. If the tribunal is finding the matter “baseless” that is someone being sexual harassed, who is to say that the anti-discrimination board is fulfilling all of its duties.

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