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Exemption applications under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth)

Legal Legal
Friday 14 December, 2012

Exemption applications under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth)

Section 44 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) ("the Act") gives the Commission the power to grant temporary exemptions from certain provisions of the Act.Temporary exemptions may be granted for up to five years at a time and may be granted subject to specified terms and conditions. The effect of a temporary exemption is that discrimination covered by the exemption is not unlawful under the Act while the exemption remains in force.Because the Act already provides for both permanent exemptions (Division 4 Part II of the Act - ss 30-43) and special measures (s 7D) and because any temporary exemption must be consistent with the objects of the Act the circumstances in which it will be necessary or appropriate to grant such exemptions will be limited.

The Act does not set out in any detail the criteria or procedures that the Commission should use in considering applications for temporary exemption. Section 44 of the Act simply provides the Commission with a discretion to grant such exemptions.

Because of the importance of the power to grant exemptions, and its potential impact on rights and obligations under the Act, the Commission has developed criteria and procedures to guide the Commission in exercising this discretion. By publishing these criteria and procedures, the Commission also aims to assist interested parties in having an effective say in decisions about possible exemptions that may affect their interests.

 

Commission Decisions on Applications for a Temporary Exemption

Current Applications and Decisions

Applicant 

 Summary                                                       

Documents Decision            Date of Decision Date gazetted Date of expiry    
Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service Victoria

The applicant requested an exemption to allow it to advertise for and employ women in a number of roles. This is because the majority of its clients are women and children who have experienced violence and/or sexual assault by men. The applicant states that working closely with men may further traumatise its clients, cause them discomfort or inhibit full disclosure by them.

 Decision PDF

Decision to grant.

The exemption was granted for five years

6 August 2013 6 August 2013 6 August 2018

Past Applications and Decisions

Applicant

Summary                                                          

Submissions Decision Date of Decision Date Gazetted Date of Expiry
CJC Operations trading as Curves Gym 

The applicant requested an exemption to allow it to operate its gym facilities catering to female-only clients. Curves offers programs, equiptment and an environment that is specifically designed for women and has applied for an exemption on the basis that its purpose is to  promote a relaxed and safe enviroment for women to feel comfortable while exercising.

  Application withdrawn       
Auto & General Insurance Company Ltd, A &G Insurance Services Ltd, Australian insurance Holdings Pty Ltd The applicant requested an exemption to allow them to price their policies differentially based on a customer's marital status, according to actuarial data about the relative claims risk associated with different marital status.

Decision PDF

Decision to decline May 2012     
Deli Women & Children's Centre

The applicant requested an exemption to provide therapeutic services to only female clients and to only employ females to provide therapeutic and children's services.

Decision PDF

Decision to decline 22 November 2009    
Griffith City Council

The applicant requested an exemption to allow restrited access to its gymnasium and swimming pool to women only, for regular two and a half hour sessions, outside of the applicant's ordinary operating hours.

Decision PDF

Decision to decline 20 June 2008     
Crisis Support Services

The applicant requested an exemption to allow Crisis Support Services Inc an exemption to allow the applicant to advertise nationally for and recruit male counsellors to join its Graduate Trainee Program, and at the end of the Program, to offer employment to as many male counsellors who have completed the Program as it considers appropriate.

Decision PDF

Decision to grant 12 January 2007  12 January 2007 12 January 2008
Ballarat Health and Fitness Pty Ltd The applicant requested an exemption to allow it to operate an exercise and health centre for males only from 16 years of age.

Decision PDF

Decision to grant 7 November 2005  16 November 2005 6 November 2010
Lourdes Hill College

The applicant requested an exemption to allow advertisement for a female Dean of Boarding, Assistant Dean of Boarding and Boarding Supervisors' to be employed at the College. The College is described in the application as a 'Catholic, all girls, secondary Boarding School, under the care of theGood Samaritan Sisters'.

Decision PDF

Decision to decline 12 May 2005     
Australian Bureau of Statistics

The applicant requested an exemption to allow it to provide training for conducting the Personal Safety Survey (PSS), and to allocate the work of the PSS to primarily female interviewers from its current panel of employee interviewers. The  exemption was granted on the condition that when arrangements are being made with a respondnet to be itnerviewed, the respodent should be given a choice as to the gender of their interviewer, or they can advise that they do not have a preference.

Decision PDF

Decision to grant 1 August 2005  2005 30 November 2005
Annetco Inc (formerly WiN Support Services Pty)

The applicant requested an exemption to allow, on the basis of sex, the advertising of vacant positions and the offering of employment and to allow the allocation of work to existing employees.

Decision PDF

Decision to decline 24 November 2004     
Catholic Commission for Employment Relations

The applicant requested an exemption to allow the Trustee to offer teacher training scholarships to male students only. The proposed financial support/incentives would be offered to HSC students to enrol in primary teacher training at university for the 2003 academic year. Male students accepting the scholarship would commit to working within Catholic primary schools for a fixed period following completion of the teachig degree.

Decision PDF

Declision to decline 27 February 2003  27 February 2003  
Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs Exemption to allow female and male detainees, up to the age of 18, at any immigration detention facility eligibility, to participate in alternative detention, namely accomodation in houses in Woomera.

 Decision WORD

 

Decision to grant September 2003  15 October 2003 19 September 2003- 18 September 2005
Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs Extension of time for Woomera residential housing project. Decision WORD Decision to grant 14 October 2002  6 February 2002 14 October 2002 - 14 October 2003
Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

Exemption to allow Woomera residential housing project whwereby female and male detainees up to the age of 12 at Woomera Immigration Reception and Processing Centre will be eligible to participate in alternative detention arrangements, namely accomodation in houses outside the Centre.

Decision WORD Decision to grant 7 August 2001  10 October 2001 August 2001-August 2002

 

Click on the following links for further information:

COMMISSION GUIDELINES

 


COMMISSION NOTICES ON APPLICATIONS FOR TEMPORARY EXEMPTIONS

2016

  • Temporary Exemption application: CJC Operations, trading as Curves Gym (withdrawn)

2012

2011

2009

2008

2007

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001