Australian religious discrimination Bill 'unworkable'
Publish date: 09 October 2019
Issue Number: 307
Diary: Legalbrief Workplace
Legal academics and the Diversity Council in Australia have warned that the government’s proposed religious discrimination Bill is unworkable for employers and will thwart policies designed to create safe and inclusive workplaces. The Guardian reports that in a joint submission, the academics warn the Bill’s proposed ban on workplace policies regulating religious speech would leave employers in the invidious position of having a duty under occupational health and safety laws to create safe workplaces, but being restrained in their ability to prevent bullying. The report says the draft Bill would prevent employers from having codes of conduct that ban religious speech in the workplace or on social media, on the grounds that such a ban would indirectly discriminate on the grounds of religion. The provision exempts large employers only if they can show they would suffer ‘unjustifiable financial hardship’ without the rule.