Scott Morrison has unveiled plans to stamp out sexual harassment within the office, with the federal government to undertake all suggestions of the [email protected] report partially or in full.
The brand new girls’s taskforce met for the primary time on Tuesday and mentioned the federal government’s response to the report handed down by Intercourse Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins greater than a yr in the past.
Mr Morrison confirmed the federal authorities had accepted all 55 suggestions – which he described as a “recreation changer” – both wholly, partially, or in precept.
The measures would place extra onus on employers to stamp out sexual harassment and discrimination.
“Sexual harassment is unacceptable. It’s not solely immoral and despicable and even prison, however significantly within the context of the [email protected] report, it denies Australians, particularly girls, not simply their private safety however their financial safety,” he informed reporters in Canberra.
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“This can be a tradition we’ve to vary throughout our society.”
Mr Morrison mentioned the federal government would prioritise prevention of sexual harassment and make the grievance system simpler to navigate.
He mentioned Ms Jenkin’s report additi onally revealed an pressing want for higher knowledge on sexual harassment.
The report discovered almost 40 per cent of ladies and 26 per cent of males had suffered sexual harassment in current occasions.
Lawyer-Common Michaelia Money mentioned the alarming price was “unacceptable” and the cupboard was “united in our response” to the report.
“In our response, what we do is about out our long-term dedication to stopping and addressing sexual harassment within the office,” she mentioned.
She mentioned Ms Jenkins was “very happy” with the federal government’s adoption of her suggestions that will simplify an “extremely complicated” system for employers and staff.
After months of criticism directed on the authorities over its dealing with of the Brittany Higgins rape allegation, Ms Money mentioned the federal government would introduce a “suite” of adjustments.
The definition of great misconduct beneath the Honest Work Act will likely be amended to incorporate sexual harassment, which can even be included as a legitimate motive for dismissal.
The Intercourse Discrimination Act would even be prolonged to incorporate MPs and judges, whereas a grievance interval can be prolonged from six months to 24 months.
“Our goal is to scale back complexity but in addition strengthen the nationwide framework for addressing sexual harassment,” she mentioned.
She confirmed that she agreed “in precept” with establishing a “constructive responsibility” for employers, requiring them to actively stamp out sexual harassment and discrimination.
However greater than a yr because the report was handed down, Mr Morrison rejected ideas the federal government had solely been pressured into responding by two months of scandal.
He claimed the COVID-19 pandemic had put a number of points on the backburner.
“Final yr was a really extraordinary yr, we might all agree with that,” he mentioned.
“There have been many points that we weren’t allowed to advance final yr due to the calls for and pressures of COVID.
“Not one event was I requested about this matter within the Home of Representatives, nor have been my ministers.”
The federal authorities hoped to introduce the suggestions as a part of a legislative bundle earlier than the Might price range, Mr Morrison mentioned.
Initially revealed as PM responds to sexual harassment report