Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment Bill 2021

Originating house
Parliament no

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Implements certain recommendations of the Australian Human Rights Commission report, Respect@Work: National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces by amending the: Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 to: amend the definition of 'unlawful discrimination'; and extend the period of time between an alleged incident and the lodging of a complaint in relation to the President's discretion to terminate a complaint; Fair Work Act 2009 to: provide that a worker who is sexually harassed at work may apply for a Fair Work Commission (FWC) order to stop the sexual harassment; provide that the FWC can make an order to stop sexual harassment following a single instance of sexual harassment; provide that sexual harassment in connection with an employee’s employment can be a valid reason for dismissal; and extend the minimum entitlement for compassionate leave in relation to miscarriage; and Sex Discrimination Act 1984 to: prohibit discrimination involving harassment on the ground of sex; extend the application of the Act to members of parliament, members of the ACT and Northern Territory legislative assemblies and their staff, judges, staff and consultants employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984, state employees, including independent contractors; and the public authority of a state; and include definitions of 'worker' and 'persons conducting a business or undertaking' to extend the protection from sexual harassment to all paid and unpaid workers, including volunteers, interns and the self-employed.


Introduced and read a first time 24 Jun 2021
Second reading moved 24 Jun 2021
Second reading debate 31 Aug 2021
Second reading debate 01 Sep 2021
Second reading agreed to 01 Sep 2021
Committee of the Whole debate
  • Amendment details: 1 Government agreed to
01 Sep 2021
Third reading agreed to 01 Sep 2021
House of Representatives
Introduced and read a first time 02 Sep 2021
Second reading moved 02 Sep 2021
Second reading debate 02 Sep 2021
Second reading agreed to 02 Sep 2021
Consideration in detail debate 02 Sep 2021
Third reading agreed to 02 Sep 2021
Finally passed both Houses 02 Sep 2021
  • Act no: 104
  • Year: 2021
10 Sep 2021

Documents and transcripts

Text of bill

Explanatory memoranda

Proposed amendments

House of representatives


Schedules of amendments

No documents at present

Bills digest


Helpful information

Text of bill

  • First reading: Text of the bill as introduced into the Parliament
  • Third reading: Prepared if the bill is amended by the house in which it was introduced. This version of the bill is then considered by the second house.
  • As passed by both houses: Final text of bill agreed to by both the House of Representatives and the Senate which is presented to the Governor-General for assent.

Explanatory memoranda

  • Explanatory memorandum: Accompanies and provides an explanation of the content of the introduced version (first reading) of the bill.
  • Supplementary explanatory memorandum: Accompanies and explains amendments proposed by the government to the bill.
  • Revised explanatory memorandum: Accompanies and explains the amended version (third reading) of the bill. It supersedes the explanatory memorandum.

Proposed amendments

Circulated by members and senators when they propose to make changes to the bill. For details about the outcome of proposed amendments please refer to either the Votes and Proceedings (House of Representatives) or the Journals (Senate).

Schedules of amendments

Schedules of amendments list amendments agreed to by the second house are communicated to the first house for consideration. Subsequent action by either house may also be included in a schedule.

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