National, News

Senators urged to protect trans, gender diverse, and intersex workers

LGBTIQ+ advocates are urging government, opposition, and cross-bench senators to support amendments this week that will finally guarantee Australian trans, gender diverse, and intersex workers the same rights as others.

The Greens will move amendments to the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment Bill 2021 that will include gender identity and sex characteristics in the Fair Work Act, alongside existing attributes such as race, disability, sex, and sexual orientation.

“This week, the Senate has the opportunity to provide trans, gender diverse, and intersex Australians with the exact same protections against workplace mistreatment and unlawful termination as other groups,” said just.equal Australia spokesperson Dr Charlie Burton.

“The fact gender identity and sex characteristics aren’t already explicitly included in the Fair Work Act isn’t just a legislative oversight, it places the ability of trans, gender diverse, and intersex workers to access the Fair Work Commission in doubt.

“Fixing this gap is straightforward, and should be uncontroversial, given Parliament voted eight years ago to include trans, gender diverse, and intersex people in the Sex Discrimination Act. 

“We call on all Senators to support amendments to include them in the Fair Work Act too.”

The recent Private Lives 3 Report found respondents were far more likely to experience unfair treatment on the basis of gender identity than sexual orientation.

“We know trans and gender diverse workers experience far too much discrimination in the workplace, with far too few legal protections,” said Dr Burton. 

“These amendments will help deliver better outcomes for trans and gender diverse employees around the country.

“We thank Senator Janet Rice for proposing amendments that would finally guarantee trans, gender diverse, and intersex employees can access the Fair Work Commission on the exact same basis as everyone else, including lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals.

“Coalition, Labor, and cross-bench senators now have the chance to show that they support our equality. 

“LGBTIQ+ Australians will be watching closely this week to see what decision they make.”

Leave a Reply