find the latest legal job
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Insurance Lawyer (1 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Great Career Opportunity ·
View details
Insurance and Health Lawyer (1-4 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· New position to support Growth ·
View details
Govt failed to consult on discrimination laws: lawyers

Govt failed to consult on discrimination laws: lawyers

Victorian lawyers say the government has watered down the Equal Opportunity Act, and has accused it of "muzzling" the body's Commissioner.

VICTORIAN lawyers say the government has watered down the Equal Opportunity Act, and has accused it of "muzzling" the body's Commissioner.  

The Law Institute of Victoria has spoken out against new amendments to the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 introduced by the Victorian Government.

Religious schools will be able to reject teachers belonging to different faiths under the Baillieu Government's changes to the laws. 

Christian schools will be able to ban single-parent teachers or others not fitting their beliefs. Jewish and Islamic schools will be able to hire only those teachers who uphold their values. 

This comes after strict equal opportunity laws that banned discrimination against teachers were initiated by the Brumby government last year. They were to take fact 1 August. But the Coalition's overturning of the laws allows religious organisation to employ only staff who share the beliefs of their communities.

LIV president Caroline Counsel says the Government has failed to consult with the Victorian community, and silenced the Equal Opportunity Commissioner.  

“The Government has muzzled the powers of our Equal Opportunity Commissioner to investigate serious systemic workplace discrimination as well as endorsing employment discrimination in religious schools,” Counsel said.

“This is a backward step for equal opportunity and fair employment practices."

Under proposals introduced by the previous Government, the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner would have had the power to address serious discrimination affecting organisations as a whole, and not just individuals.

It would have no longer required vulnerable individuals to bring a complaint, but would have enabled the Commissioner to work constructively with organisations to assist them in promoting equity, the LIV said in a statement. 

In a submission last year, the LIV also supported the “inherent requirements test” which would have forced religious organisations including schools to show that employment discrimination was necessary to fulfil the requirements of the job.

This has also been removed from the Bill.

“We believe it is important to balance the right to freedom of religious belief with the right to equality,” Counsel said.



Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Govt failed to consult on discrimination laws: lawyers
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Please, Continue (Hamlet), Melbourne Festival
Oct 16 2017
Hamlet suffers slings and arrows of top Victorian barristers
Victorian judges and barristers have performed the unique play Please, Continue (Hamlet) at the Melb...
Julian Assange
Oct 13 2017
When justice fails, according to Assange
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has dismissed the capacity of judicial systems to deal with complex...
Aussie anti-terrorism laws, detention of 10-year-olds
Oct 13 2017
Treatment of kids under Aussie anti-terrorism laws an over-reach: ABA
The Australian Bar Association has urged the government to reconsider proposed reforms to Australian...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...