Late last year, the Government passed changes to Fair Work laws to protect trans and intersex people from discrimination at work. You can now apply to the Fair Work Commission to help resolve a dispute if your employer discriminates against you on the basis of your trans or intersex status.
The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the Act) sets out the rights and responsibilities of employees and employers, protecting people from discrimination at work or when gaining work. Prior to these recent changes, section 351 prevented employers from making any adverse actions against a person because of their ‘race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer’s responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin’. Adverse actions include dismissing an employee, refusing to employ someone or changing an employee’s position. More information on actions that are considered ‘adverse actions’ can be found here.
The new changes have expanded the protected categories and now prevent employers from taking adverse actions on the basis of someone’s gender identity or intersex status. This means that trans and intersex people are now afforded the same protections as their LGB+ peers under the Act.
Although trans and intersex people were previously protected under State and Federal anti-discrimination laws, these changes mean that trans and intersex people can apply to the Fair Work Commission for assistance in resolving the issue if they are discriminated against at work. For more information on the assistance Fair Work can provide to resolve a dispute, visit their website here. We can also provide you with a free legal consultation regarding workplace discrimination. Request an appointment here.