Discrimination & bullying in schools project news

Commission queries need for law change

by Commissioner for Equal Opportunity | Jan 30, 2014

Acting Commissioner Allanah Lucas today questioned mining companies’ proposal to change Australia’s anti-discrimination laws to enable them to advertise jobs for Aboriginal employees.

 “Both WA and federal legislation already exists that allows for this,” said Ms Lucas.

 The Australian Mines and Metals Association raised the issue in a submission to the Federal Government's Indigenous jobs review, claiming that the law isn’t clear.

 The WA Equal Opportunity Act 1984 gives employers, including miners, the ability to advertise jobs, either under Section 50(d) or Section 51,” she said.

 “These sections are designed to assist organisations to provide better services to people of a particular racial, ethnic, or national origin background, and to allow employers to introduce recruitment and retention measures specifically targeted towards racial or ethnic groups that have been historically disadvantaged and under-represented in the workforce.”

 Ms Lucas said there are many companies with CEOs and their teams in the private sector already doing excellent work in these areas of diversifying their workforces without having to depend on any further legislation.

 “Companies need to look at systemic barriers within organisations and how the workforce is developed and recruited.

 “Rather than rely on further legislation to protect companies from complaints, employers should consider working on better communications and strategies to avert possible complaints that might eventuate.  This is a risk management issue not a legislative matter.”

Ref: Mining companies call for law change so they can advertise Indigenous-only jobs

 FOR ADDITIONAL COMMENT: Public Affairs Officer, Colleen Mack

(08) 9216 3911 mob 0437 213 738

Level 2, 141 St Georges Terrace, Western Australia 6000 - Tel:  (08) 9216 3900 –Fax: (08) 9216 3960

Email: eoc@eoc.wa.gov.au  Website www.eoc.wa.gov.au