Trans, gender diverse and intersex workers to be protected under new Fair Work Bill

28 October 2022  National LGBTIQ+ rights organisation Equality Australia has today welcomed steps by the Albanese government to better protect trans, gender diverse and intersex people from discrimination at work.

“This is a major win for our communities and a cause for celebration,” said Equality Australian Legal Director Ghassan Kassisieh.

“Every worker, including trans, gender diverse and intersex workers, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. This reform ensures workers can’t be sacked or discriminated against because they are trans, gender diverse or intersex.”

The Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Bill 2022 was introduced into parliament yesterday by Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke.

As part of the comprehensive reform package that promotes gender pay equity and better protections for workers who experience sexual harassment, the Bill will remove any doubt that discrimination based on gender identity and intersex status is prohibited under federal employment laws.

“This reform delivers peace of mind for trans, gender diverse and intersex workers. You will have access to the same protections and remedies as any other worker who experiences workplace discrimination, such as based on race, sex, sexual orientation or disability,” said Ghassan Kassisieh.

“By bringing the Fair Work Act into line with Commonwealth anti-discrimination laws, this Bill makes it easier for workers to resolve issues of workplace discrimination and enables all workplace issues to be resolved in one place.”

However, the Bill does not address other legal gaps that leave LGBTIQ+ people vulnerable to discrimination, including in religious schools and organisations and because of definitions that do not adequately protect all members of our communities.

“This Bill shows us that when laws move to protect all of us, equally, they can lift the standard for everyone. It is now time for the Albanese Government to take the next step in reforming federal anti-discrimination and employment laws to protect all LGBTIQ+ people from discrimination, no matter where we work, study or access services,” concluded Mr Kassisieh.

Media Contact: Tara Ravens 0408 898 154, tara.ravens@equalityaustralia.org.au