4 priority actions to prevent sexual harassment and promote gender equality in Tasmanian workplaces

21 April 2021

On the 8th of April 2021, the Morrison Government responded to the Respect@Work report with its own Roadmap to Respect.

After a 12 month wait, and a month after Australia saw the largest women's rallies in decades as part of the March 4 Justice movement, the Australian Government finally gave their response to each recommendation.

Unions Tasmania supports all the recommendations of the Respect@Work report and welcomes commitments by the Government to implement most of the recommendations but their response, sadly, falls short.

The Federal Government response fails to provide proper protections for women at work, with no new rights for people experiencing sexual violence and harassment and no further responsibility on employers to ensure a safe workplace and prevent sexual violence and harassment.

It is now the responsibility of the Tasmanian Government to step in where the Federal Government has failed.
Unions Tasmania is calling on all political parties and candidates to publicly commit to implementing the legislative change in Government where they have jurisdiction and pressing the Federal Government to act where they do not.

Furthermore, we are seeking the establishment of a Gender Equality Act and Gender Equality Commissioner to advance gender equality in the workplace and the broader community.

Tasmanian unions are calling on political parties and candidates to commit to four priority reforms in Government.

  1. Make the necessary changes to the Work Health and Safety Act (Tas) 2012 to provide for a Regulation on psychological health hazards and additional guidance on sexual harassment;
  2. Legislate for a Gender Equality Act and Commissioner;
  3. Fund a Working Women's Centre within Unions Tasmania to provide targeted advice to vulnerable workers who experience sexual harassment;
  4. Lobby the Federal Government to make the necessary changes to the Federal Fair Work and Sex Discrimination Acts to put a positive duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment.

Download the full report here