Respect At Work
What is Respect at Work?
The Respect At Work reforms in Australia refer to a package of legislative changes and policy proposals aimed at preventing and addressing workplace sexual harassment. The reforms were developed in response to the findings of the Australian Human Rights Commission's 2020 national inquiry into workplace sexual harassment, which revealed that sexual harassment is widespread and pervasive in Australian workplaces.
Overall, the Respect At Work reforms represent a significant step forward in addressing workplace sexual harassment in Australia and promoting safer and more respectful workplaces for all employees. They are the largest change to workplace law in Australia in many years.
What are the changes in the Respect At Work reforms?
The Respect At Work reforms include several key measures. These include:
Expanding the definition of workplace sexual harassment:
The reforms seek to broaden the definition of workplace sexual harassment to include a wider range of behaviours, such as sexual coercion, stalking, and other forms of unwanted conduct.
Making employers more responsible for preventing and addressing sexual harassment:
The reforms aim to make employers more accountable for preventing and responding to workplace sexual harassment by introducing a positive duty on employers to take reasonable and proportionate measures to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace.
Strengthening legal protections and remedies for victims of sexual harassment:
The reforms propose several changes to the legal framework around sexual harassment, including extending the time limit for making a complaint, increasing the maximum penalties for sexual harassment, and expanding access to compensation for victims.
Improving education and awareness around sexual harassment:
The reforms aim to promote a culture of respect and prevent sexual harassment by improving education and awareness around the issue in workplaces, schools, and the broader community.
A series of articles written by our team examining the key points of the Respect at Work Bill and the strategic direction your workplace should take to ensure compliance.