Various federal, state and territory laws say that it is against the law to discriminate against people, or treat them unfairly, in various areas of public life. One of these areas is employment.

These laws are your local Anti-Discrimination Acts and five Commonwealth Acts which are the:

  • Racial Discrimination Act 1975,
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1984,
  • Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1987,
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and
  • Age Discrimination Act 2004

This means that in Australia everybody in the workplace must get a fair go. In particular, they must not be treated unfairly, or unequal, because of their:

  • sex (including pregnancy);
  • race, colour, ethnic or ethno-religious background, descent or nationality;
  • marital or domestic status;
  • disability (including past, present or future physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability, learning disorders, or any organism capable of causing disease, for example, HIV);
  • homosexuality (male or female, actual or presumed);
  • age (including not forcing them to retire at the old retirement age);
  • transgender (transsexual) status;
  • carers’ responsibilities.

It is also unlawful to treat someone less favourably because of any of their relatives’, work colleagues’ or friends’ sex, race, marital or domestic status, disability, homosexuality, age, transgender status or carers’ responsibilities.