Qld exploring protections for workers subjected to sexual harassment

By Shannon Jenkins

Tuesday May 4, 2021

Annastacia Palaszczuk says momentum is building in Queensland to develop a leading renewable hydrogen industry.
Annastacia Palaszczuk says momentum is building in Queensland to develop a leading renewable hydrogen industry. (AAP Image/Darren England)

An upcoming review of Queensland’s industrial relations laws will consider stronger protections for people who have experienced workplace sexual harassment, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Monday.

Palaszczuk said the review would include extensive consultation with unions and other stakeholders, and would “dovetail” with the state government’s response to the recommendations of the national Respect@Work report.

“Our industrial protections must keep pace with the changing shape of work to ensure everyone gets a fair go. And as recent events have shown, sexual harassment and gender inequity in the workplace is a pressing issue that needs addressing,” she said.

“Our review of the Industrial Relations Act will investigate industrial protections for workers subjected to harassment, including the independent Queensland Industrial Relations Commission having the power to make anti-sexual harassment orders.”

READ MORE: Queensland to appoint equity officer in response to staff harassment complaints

Last month Palaszczuk revealed the state would appoint an equity officer to handle bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct complaints within the state’s public service, following reports regarding the prevalence of sexual harassment within the public service.

Speaking at Labour Day celebrations at Barcaldine in central Queensland, the premier said the review would also look at protections for workers in precarious and short-term employment arrangements, including independent courier drivers.

Industrial relations minister Grace Grace said the Palaszczuk government had a proud record of protecting workers’ rights, and would “continue to champion the rights of modern-day workers in the 21st century”.

READ MORE: Sexual harassment in APS ‘significantly underreported’ due to lack of trust in leadership, survey finds


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