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Tuesday, 31st August 2021

Labor Commits to Keeping Australians Safe from Workplace Sexual Harassment

with Tanya Plibersek MP, Tony Burke MP & Mark Dreyfus MP

An Albanese Labor Government will help keep Australians safe from sexual harassment at work by investing in women’s support services, and establishing a one-stop shop to assist victims.

Labor will commit around $24 million to ensure there are properly funded Working Women’s Centres in every Australian state and territory. 

Working Women’s Centres provide free, confidential assistance and advice about workplace matters, including sexual harassment, wage theft, and discrimination. Sadly, many Working Women’s Centres have cut back their services, closed, or face closure, because of the Liberals’ federal funding cuts. 

Labor would work with states and territories and other relevant stakeholders on the establishment of new Working Women’s Centres.

Labor will invest $1.27 million to establish a one-stop shop, within the Australian Human Rights Commission, to assist victims of workplace sexual harassment. The one-stop shop would provide information about a victim’s rights, options for making a complaint, and referrals to support services. Employers will be able to access the one-stop shop for help understanding their responsibilities.

The Australian Human Rights Commission would also receive $1.5 million to hear and confidentially document the experiences of victims of historical workplace sexual harassment. This will allow the Commission to better identify how to strengthen the way we prevent and respond to sexual harassment at work, as well as helping victims come to terms with their experiences. 

The announcements Labor is making today are part of our commitment to fully implement all 55 recommendations of the Sex Discrimination Commissioner’s Respect@Work Report, to help keep Australians safe from sexual harassment at work.

Back in April, Scott Morrison promised he would adopt every recommendation in the Respect@Work Report. Sadly, he’s not.

After commissioning the work in 2018, the Morrison Government ignored the final Respect@Work for over a year, leaving it to gather dust on the desk of former Attorney General, Christian Porter. It should not have taken this long.

The Sex Discrimination Commissioner herself has described the Federal Government’s weak response to her Report as a “missed opportunity.”

In the past five years, one in three people experienced sexual harassment at work, including two in five women. This widespread workplace harassment costs the Australian economy $3.5 billion a year. It must stop.

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Electorate Office

334a Marrickville Rd
Marrickville NSW 2204

Phone: 02 9564 3588

Parliament House Office

Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: 02 6277 7700

Phone: (02) 9564 3588
Fax: (02) 9564 1734
Email: A.Albanese.MP@aph.gov.au

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which our offices stand and we pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge the sorrow of the Stolen Generations and the impacts of colonisation on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We also recognise the resilience, strength and pride of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Authorised by Anthony Albanese. 334a Marrickville Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204.

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