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Supporting working parents: findings from the AHRC’s national inquiry into the prevalence of pregnancy and return to work discrimination in the workplace

Allen,DL 2014, Supporting working parents: findings from the AHRC’s national inquiry into the prevalence of pregnancy and return to work discrimination in the workplace, Australian journal of labour law, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 281-292.

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Title Supporting working parents: findings from the AHRC’s national inquiry into the prevalence of pregnancy and return to work discrimination in the workplace
Author(s) Allen,DL
Journal name Australian journal of labour law
Volume number 27
Issue number 3
Start page 281
End page 292
Publisher LexisNexis Butterworths
Place of publication Chatswood, NSW
Publication date 2014
ISSN 1030-7222
Summary In July 2014 the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) released the findings of its national review into pregnancy and return to work discrimination in the workplace1 which it conducted following a request from the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department.2 The review comes 15 years after the commission’s first inquiry into pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.3Federal law has prohibited pregnancy discrimination in the workplace since the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) (SDA) came into force.4 It is now unlawful in every state and territory.5 Discrimination on the basis of breastfeeding and family or carer’s responsibilities is also prohibited.6 Since 2009 the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) has prohibited workplace discrimination based on pregnancy and family or carer’s responsibilities7 and the Act gives employees additional entitlements relating to their parental and caring responsibilities. Male and female employees who are the primary caregiver for a child are entitled to 12 months unpaid parental leave upon the birth or adoption of the child and can request an additional 12 months leave.8 Upon returning to work, they can request flexible working conditions9 and they are protected from adverse action, such as dismissal, for exercising these rights.10 Yet despite these legal protections, the findings of the national review show that employees continue to experience discrimination during pregnancy, when taking parental leave and upon re-entering the workforce. This note presents the main findings from the surveys and consultations that were held with employers and employees as part of the review and the review’s recommendations for addressing the prevalence of what it terms ‘pregnancy/return to work discrimination’.
Language eng
Field of Research 180118 Labour Law
Socio Economic Objective 940499 Justice and the Law not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, LexisNexis Butterworths
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30069169

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Law
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