Respect@Work Act 2022

It’s time to stamp-out workplace sexual harassment

Take a proactive approach against workplace sexual harassment by empowering yourself with knowledge and solutions from our effective resources.

Why is it important?

The Respect@Work Act 2022

On 28th November 2022, the Australian Government passed the Anti‑Discrimination and Human Rights Legislation Amendment (Respect at Work) Act 2022. This implemented a further 7 of the Respect@Work report’s 55 recommendations aimed at combatting workplace sexual harassment and other forms of sex-based discrimination.

The Respect@Work Act receives Royal Assent | What does this mean?

A Bill passed by the Australian Parliament does not become an Act until it is formally accepted by the Governor-General. This particular process for making laws is referred to as Royal Assent. The Respect@Work Act was officially passed by Parliament on 12 December 2022 Royal Assent was given.

What does this mean for Australian organisations

These new legislative updates mean that all employers have an active duty to prevent sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, and victimisation from occurring in the workplace. Furthermore, employers must show that they have implemented preventative measures by December 2023 in compliance with the new legislation.

What are the consequences of non-compliance

Non compliant employers who violate the Respect@Work Act can face liability for workplace incidents involving harassment or discrimination, resulting in financial penalties and potential damages. In order to ensure adherence to the Act, the Australian Human Rights Commission holds significant authority. They actively monitor and assess compliance with the legislation, investigate cases of systemic unlawful discrimination, and can issue compliance notices to promote the adoption of necessary measures.

What should employers do to prepare

As a result of these changes, employers are now facing significantly different expectations regarding their levels of accountability and compliance.  Simply going through the motions of ticking checkboxes, like conducting annual training or implementing policies that go unread, will not suffice. Safetrac has written a comprehensive White Paper which serves as a valuable resource, providing in-depth insights and practical guidance on various aspects crucial for organisational readiness.

Respect@Work White Paper

This report provides a detailed explanation of each legal change brought about by the Respect at Work Act 2021, the Respect at Work Act 2022, and state and territory occupational/health and safety legislative changes. Discover:

  • The increased enforcement powers of the Australian Human Rights Commission;
  • Possible avenues for review of compliance notices issued to employers;
  • New or recent sex-based offences including hostile work environments and sex-based harassment;
  • Worker entitlements relating to miscarriages and stop sexual harassment orders;
  • Changes to reporting obligations under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012; and
  • Employers’ duty to manage psychosocial risks

Plus, this report contains a concise, dot-point summary of each amendment discussed, as well as a list of strategies that organisations can adopt as part of a move towards greater legal compliance.

Measure your organisation’s progress now

Our Respect@Work Health Check is designed to evaluate your organisation’s adherence to legal requirements on sexual harassment and discrimination.

Get a comprehensive score breakdown and identify areas of improvement. Safeguard your business by taking the first step with our Respect@Work Health Check.

Together, let’s ensure full compliance and foster a respectful work environment.

What is the prevalence of sexual harassment?

*Source: Australian Human Rights Commission, Time for respect: Fifth national survey on sexual harassment in Australian workplaces, AHRC November 2022

Respect@Work Resources

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