Greater protection for LGBTQI ECEC employees in refreshed AHRC Guidelines

Greater protection for LGBTQI ECEC employees in refreshed AHRC Guidelines

by Freya Lucas

December 07, 2018

The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)  has published refreshed guidelines for the use of special measures under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth).

 

Special measures are positive actions used to promote equality for disadvantaged groups, which are permitted under the Sex Discrimination Act.

 

Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Kate Jenkins, points to the gender pay gap, the under-employment of women, barriers to leadership roles, reduced retirement savings and high rates of sexual harassment at work as examples of this continuing inequality.

 

An example of the types of discrimination outlined above occuring in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) context can be read in the piece Your other is just another mother.

 

In outlining the refreshed guidelines, AHRC noted that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons continue to experience discrimination at work on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status, and experience higher than average rates of violence, harassment and bullying.

 

Commissioner Jenkins said that AHRC had increasingly seen examples from individuals and organisations that are seeking to address this inequality by taking proactive measures.

 

An example of a special measure under the Sex Discrimination Act may be a workplace setting a target of having 30% of women on their board to address the lack of women’s representation in leadership positions.

 

The Commission’s guidelines are intended to assist organisations and individuals to understand and use the special measures provisions in the Sex Discrimination Act.

 

“The guidelines are an important resource for organisations and individuals seeking to take positive steps to achieve gender equality and a more inclusive Australia, and I encourage everyone to use them,” Commissioner Jenkins said.

 

The guidelines can be accessed here.

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