Australian Human Rights Commission: Information for Employers

Putting effective anti-discrimination and anti-harassment strategies in place in your workplace is good practice, which is good for business.

A productive and cohesive workplace helps:

  • increase your pool of potential employees - meaning you get the best person for the job
  • build the morale and productivity of your employees
  • minimise complaints, disruptions and legal wrangles - so you can get on with work
  • add to your bottom line and build your reputation in the community.

The Australian Human Rights Commission has developed this resource to support employers to deal effectively with discrimination and harassment in the workplace so that everyone involved with your business is treated fairly and with respect.

Simple steps to follow . . .

The information for employers in this section provides some simple steps you can to take to address discrimination and harassment in the workplace by:

  • outlining your responsibilities as an employer
  • developing effective workplace policies and best practice guidelines, and
  • establishing and implementing complaints procedures

It will also direct you to contacts, publications and resources that can help get you started.

Understanding your responsibilities

All employers are required to create a workplace that is free from discrimination and harassment. These responsibilities are set out in a range of state and federal laws which help protect people from unlawful behaviour.

In addition, there are a range of Acts which cover employers such as: various state Occupational Health and Safety Acts, the Equal Opportunity in the Workplace Act, the Public Service Act, and the Fair Work Act to name but a few.

The Australian Human Rights Commission is responsible for the implementation of federal human rights and anti-discrimination law in Australia. The Commission has statutory responsibilities under five federal laws that cover discrimination and breaches of human rights:

  • Age Discrimination Act 2004
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992
  • Racial Discrimination Act 1975
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1984
  • Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986

The Commission also provides employers with information and resources to understand and meet their obligations under the legislation.


In this section you can find:

Employer responsibilities and policies

Complaints procedures

Information on developing complaints procedures in your workplace including:

Best practice guidelines

Best practice guidelines for employers including:

Information for small business owners

Directory of contacts and resources