EMPLOYMENT & SAFETY Alert: Recent Discrimination Act Amendments

18 July 2011


The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) was amended on 20 June 2011 with the most substantial change relating to the expansion of the definition of sexual harassment.  To succeed, a claim for sexual harassment now only requires that a reasonable person would anticipate ‘the possibility’ of the person harassed being offended, humiliated or intimidated because of the conduct. The reasonable person’s assessment now also takes into account a number of subjective factors, including characteristics of the affected person. This amendment means that a broader range of behaviour will be classified as unlawful sexual harassment – in fact, any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature is now likely to be sexual harassment.

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