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Launched today – toolkit to combat pregnancy discrimination

Discrimination Sex Discrimination
Panel from the launch of Supporting Working Parents

The discrimination faced by pregnant women and parents at work could be a thing of the past, with new resources launched today to help employers and employees understand their legal obligations and entitlements.

The new website and online resources were developed in response to pervasive discrimination identified during last year’s Supporting Working Parents: Pregnancy and Return to Work National Review Report by the Australian Human Rights Commission. The report found 50 per cent of mothers and a quarter of fathers reported experiencing workplace discrimination and a significant gap between the law and education and proper implementation.

The National Review found that eradicating this kind of discrimination had to start with ensuring employers and employees understood their legal obligations and entitlements. The Commission worked across government and with support from PwC, business, unions and other key stakeholders, to develop a website and set of resources that is easy to use and informative for both employers and employees.

“What the National Review found was that one in two mothers and a quarter of the fathers and partners surveyed reported experiencing discrimination at work during pregnancy, parental leave or return to work. These forms of discrimination have a negative impact on individuals, their families, and the national economy,” said Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick.

“It was clear that eradicating this kind of discrimination had to start with ensuring employers and employees understood their legal obligations and entitlements. That’s why the Commission, working across government and with support from PwC, business, unions and other key stakeholders, invested in a set of resources that is easy to use and informative for both employers and employees.

“The website will be added to over the coming months with further information including a compilation of leading practices and strategies being implemented in workplaces around the country to retain and support talented women and working parents.”

The resources are now readily available here (www.supportingworkingparents.gov.au).