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Clayton Utz not alone in discrimination battle

Clayton Utz not alone in discrimination battle

Latest figures from the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) suggest Clayton Utz is far from being the only employer dealing with complaints of discrimination (see

Latest figures from the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) suggest Clayton Utz is far from being the only employer dealing with complaints of discrimination (see full story).

In fact, the figures, released in the AHRC's 2008-09 annual report, show that the workplace is still the number-one area for complaints under all federal anti-discrimination legislation.

Over the last year, employment-related complaints constituted 91 per cent of complaints received by the AHRC under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984, 59 per cent of complaints under the Age Discrimination Act 2004, 54 per cent of complaints under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 and 40 per cent of complaints under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

The report also suggests that incidents of discrimination may be on the rise. Last year, the AHRC received a total of 2253 complaints. This represents an 8 per cent increase in the number of complaints received over the 2007-08 reporting period, and a 29 per cent increase in the average annual number of complaints received over the last five years.

Disability discrimination - one of the claims facing Clayton Utz - made up the bulk of the complaints, accounting for 43 per cent of all complaints. Meanwhile, 24 per cent of complaints received were lodged under the Sex Discrimination Act, 18 per cent under the Racial Discrimination Act, 8 per cent under the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986 and 7 per cent under the Age Discrimination Act. This is in line with previous years; disability discrimination and sex discrimination complaints have comprised the majority of complaints received over the last five reporting periods.

Private companies were the target of the most complaints (about 48 per cent), followed by "individual males", and state government departments and statutory authorities.

Download the full report from the AHRC's website.

- Zoe Lyon

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