New Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 2010

 now in place 

What’s new?

All businesses  must demonstrate pro-active strategies to  eliminate sexual harassment, discrimination and victimisation. Along with this
new  ‘positive duty” , ‘direct’ and  ‘indirect’ discrimination have been redefined.

All businesses need to review current EEO policies  and procedures, as they now have a positive duty to ensure their workplaces are  free from discrimination. Small business employers are no longer exempt .

Positive duty: The Act introduces a positive duty upon employers to eliminate discrimination  in workplaces. This positive duty means  that employers must  be proactive when managing their compliance to  the Act. The proof of this compliance is required  to be via an action plan.

Direct and indirect
Previously,  an employee had to demonstrate a comparison to  prove discrimination , this is no longer required, paving the way for an easier  claims process, with less evidence needed. Another good reason for employers to  be proactive with their strategies.

Direct discrimination occurs if a person  “treats, or proposes to treat, a person  with a protected attribute unfavourably because of that attribute”. The  previous act included ”  where persons without that attribute are or would be treated more favourably  in the same or similar circumstances” This comparison is no longer required.

Indirect  Discrimination occurs if an employer “imposes, or proposes to impose, a  requirement, condition or practice that has, or is likely to have, the effect  of disadvantaging people with a protected attribute, and that is not reasonable”.  Again comparison is no longer required.

The word proposes  is also new to both definitions.

What does this mean  for your business ?

You need to develop an action plan which may  include, developing or reviewing policies and procedures, surveying your staff,  providing awareness training etc.

One thought on “New Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 2010

  1. Just attended a refresher session at the Victorian Equal Opportuntiy and Human Rights Commission (VEO&HRC) , a couple of important facts:

    1. volunteers are now protected against sexual harassment in the workplace
    2. VEO&HRC is available to reveiw action plans at no cost

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