Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

A Bill for an Act to amend the law in respect of the prohibition of discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace, and for related purposes.
For authoritative information on the progress of bills and on amendments proposed to them, please see the House of Representatives Votes and Proceedings, and the Journals of the Senate as available on the Parliament House website.
Introduced HR 13 Mar 2000

Sex Discrimination Legislation Amendment (Pregnancy and Work) Bill 2000
First Reading

1998-1999-2000

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Presented and read a first time

Sex Discrimination Legislation Amendment (Pregnancy and Work) Bill 2000

No. , 2000

(Ms Macklin)

A Bill for an Act to amend the law in respect of the prohibition of discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace, and for related purposes.

ISBN: 0642 430195

Contents

A Bill for an Act to amend the law in respect of the prohibition of discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace, and for related purposes.

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

Part 1--Preliminary 1 Short title This Act may be cited as the Sex Discrimination Legislation Amendment (Pregnancy and Work) Act 2000.

2 Commencement This Act commences on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent.

3 Schedule(s) Each Act that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

Schedule 1--Amendments Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986

1 At the end of subsection 46P(2)

Add:

; or (d) if the complaint is about an advertisement in connection with an arrangement under paragraph 14(1)(a) of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984--by any person.

2 After paragraph 46PO(4)(d)

Insert:

(da) where the unlawful discrimination relates to pregnancy or potential pregnancy--an order requiring a respondent to pay to an applicant exemplary or punitive damages;

3 After subsection 46PW(6)

Insert:

(6A) The Sex Discrimination Commissioner may refer an award, certified agreement or Australian Workplace Agreement to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission without a complaint having been lodged with the Commission if the Sex Discrimination Commissioner is of the opinion that the award is discriminatory.

4 Section 48

Omit "or potential pregnancy" (wherever occurring), substitute "potential pregnancy or breastfeeding".

Sex Discrimination Act 1984 5 Paragraph 3(b)

Omit "or potential pregnancy", substitute ", potential pregnancy or breastfeeding".

6 Subsection 4(1) (at the end of the definition of "administrative office")

Insert:

"breastfeeding" includes the act of breastfeeding a child; expressing milk; a characteristic that appertains generally to women who are breastfeeding; or a characteristic that is generally imputed to women who are breastfeeding.

7 Subsection 4(1) (at the end of the definition of employment)

Add:

and (d) unpaid or voluntary work, including under a scheme established under

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a law or program of the Commonwealth.

8 After paragraph 4A(1)(b)

Add:

; or (c) a pending dependant child of the employee

9 After subsection 4A(2) (after the definition of "immediate family member")

Insert:

"pending dependent child" includes circumstances where an employee is in the process of adopting a child or of taking responsibility for a step child or an ex-nuptial child.

10 After section 7

7AA Discrimination on the ground of breastfeeding (1) For the purposes of this Act, a person (the discriminator) discriminates against a woman (the aggrieved woman) on the ground that the aggrieved woman is breastfeeding if, because the aggrieved woman is breastfeeding, the discriminator treats the aggrieved woman less favourably than, in circumstances that are the same or are not materially different, the discriminator treats or would treat someone who is not breastfeeding.

(2) For the purposes of this Act, a person (the discriminator) discriminates against a woman (the aggrieved woman) on the ground that the aggrieved woman is breastfeeding if the discrimination imposes, or proposes to impose, a condition, requirement or practice that has, or is likely to have, the effect of disadvantaging women who are also breastfeeding.

(3) This section has effect subject to sections 7B and 7D.

11 Subsection 10(2)

Omit "or potential pregnancy", substitute ", potential pregnancy or breastfeeding".

12 Subsection 11(2)

Omit "or potential pregnancy", substitute ", potential pregnancy or breastfeeding".

13 Subsection 13(1)

Repeal the subsection.

14 Subsection 14(1)

After "potential pregnancy", insert "or because the person is breastfeeding her child".

15 Subsection 14(2)

After "potential pregnancy", insert "or because the employee is breastfeeding her child".

16 Subsection 15(1)

After "potential pregnancy", insert "or because the person is breastfeeding".

17 Subsection 15(2)

After "potential pregnancy", insert "or because the commission agent is breastfeeding".

18 Section 16

After "potential pregnancy", insert "or because the contract worker is breastfeeding".

19 Subsections 17(1) and (2)

After "potential pregnancy" (wherever occurring), insert "or because the person is breastfeeding".

20 Subsection 17(3)

After "potential pregnancy", insert "or because the partner is breastfeeding".

21 Section 18

After "potential pregnancy", insert "or because the person is breastfeeding".

22 Subsection 19(1)

After "potential pregnancy", insert "or because the person is breastfeeding".

23 Subsection 19(2)

After "potential pregnancy", insert "or because the member is breastfeeding".

24 Section 20

After "potential pregnancy", insert "or because the person is breastfeeding".

25 Subsection 21(1)

After "potential pregnancy", insert "or because the person is breastfeeding".

26 Subsection 21(2)

After "potential pregnancy", insert "or because the student is breastfeeding".

27 Subsection 22(1)

After "potential pregnancy", insert "or because that other person is breastfeeding her child".

28 Subsections 23(1) and (2)

After "potential pregnancy" (wherever occurring), insert "or because that other person is breastfeeding".

29 Subsection 24(1)

After "potential pregnancy", insert "or because that other person is breastfeeding".

30 Subsection 25(1)

After "potential pregnancy", insert "or because the person is breastfeeding".

31 Subsection 25(2)


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After "potential pregnancy", insert "or because the member is breastfeeding".

32 Section 26

After "potential pregnancy", insert "or because that other person is breastfeeding".

33 Subsection 27(1)

After "potential pregnancy", insert "or because that other person is breastfeeding".

34 Subsection 27(1)

Omit "or potentially pregnant", substitute ", potentially pregnant or breastfeeding".

35 After subsection 27(2)

Insert:

(2A) To avoid doubt, it is unlawful for a person to ask another person a question (whether orally or in writing) in connection with the employment or potential employment of that other person, which might reasonably be understood as intended to elicit information about that person's intentions in relation to pregnancy, potential pregnancy or in relation to meeting that person's family commitments.

36 At the end of subsection 27(2)

Add:

; but it is unlawful to discriminate in a recruitment process on the basis of that information.

37 After section 27

Insert:

27A Pregnancy equity standards (1) The Minister may formulate standards, to be known as pregnancy equity standards, in relation to the employment of women who are pregnant or potentially pregnant consistent with, and to give effect to, the Sex Discrimination Act 1984.

(2) Pregnancy equity standards formulated in accordance with this section are to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the pregnancy equity standards are formulated and take effect only as provided by the following provisions of this section.

(3) If:

(a) notice of a motion to amend the pregnancy equity standards is given in either House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days after the pregnancy equity standards have been laid before that House; and

(b) the pregnancy equity standards, whether or not as amended, are subsequently approved by that House; and

(c) the other House approves the pregnancy equity standards in the form approved by the first-mentioned House;

the pregnancy equity standards take effect in the form so approved from the day on which that other House approves the pregnancy equity standards in that form.

(4) If no notice of a motion to amend the pregnancy equity standards is given in the House of Representatives or the Senate within 15 sitting days of the particular House after the pregnancy equity standards have been laid before that House, the pregnancy equity standards take effect from the day immediately after that 15th sitting day or, where that day differs in respect of each House, the later of those days.

27B Unlawful to contravene pregnancy equity standards It is unlawful for a person to contravene a pregnancy equity standard.

38 Subsections 38(1) and (2)

Omit ", marital status or pregnancy" (wherever occurring), substitute "or marital status".

39 Subsection 38(3)

Omit "or pregnancy".

40 At the end of section 38

Add:

(4) In this section, a reference to a person's sex or marital status does not include a reference to pregnancy or potential pregnancy.

41 Section 39

After "pregnancy", insert "or because the person is breastfeeding".

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