Women's Safety

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Updated:

Monday, 15th November 2021

Women's Safety at Work

Labor will legislate to make it clear that employers have a positive duty to take reasonable and proportionate measures to eliminate sex discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation, as far as possible.

Women’s Safety at Work

In the past five years, one in three people experienced sexual harassment at work, including two in five women. In addition to the human, social and emotional cost, this widespread workplace harassment costs the Australian economy $3.8 million a year including $2.6 billion in lost productivity.

Yet most people who experience sexual harassment never report it. They fear the impact that complaining will have on their reputations, career prospects and relationships within their community or industry.

Respect@Work

Unlike the Government, an Albanese Labor government will fully implement all 55 recommendations of the Sex Discrimination Commissioner’s groundbreaking Respect@Work Report and legislate to strengthen laws that prevent sexual harassment.

Positive Duty

Labor will legislate to make it clear that employers have a positive duty to take reasonable and proportionate measures to eliminate sex discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation, as far as possible.

Labor in Government will work with the Workplace Sexual Harassment Council, employers, workers, unions and legal experts to finalise and implement stronger laws as a matter of priority. Labor shares the goal of businesses, workers and the wider Australian community to stamp out sexual harassment in workplaces, and will do so while working to minimise the regulatory burden on businesses by ensuring that any actions required of employers are reasonable and proportionate.

In keeping with the recommendations of the Report, Labor will work with the Workplace Sexual Harassment Council to assess whether exceptions for micro and smaller businesses are appropriate.

Working Women’s Centres

Labor has committed $24 million to ensure that 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. Under the current Government, many of these Centres have cut back their services, closed or faced closure, because of funding cuts.

A one-stop shop

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 will provide information about victims’ 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 to their employees.

The Australian Human Rights Commission will 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. 

Women’s Safety at Home

Domestic and family violence is a national crisis and a national shame. It destroys families and communities.

In Australia, on average one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner. One in four women have experienced family violence and one in five women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15. Australian police deal with a domestic violence matter every two minutes – with an estimated 657 domestic violence matters on average every day of the year.

We also know how the presence of violence of the threat of violence affects children. This trauma stays with a child for years, and into adulthood.

Almost ten thousand women a year are turned away from shelters, 1 in 3 calls to legal assistance go unanswered and police are called to a domestic violence incidence every two minutes. Frontline workers are crying out for back up.

Across the country, more and more women are giving voice to the hurt and trauma of the past. They demand action, they demand better. Labor is listening. An Albanese Labor government will tackle violence in this country with urgency, creativity, and ambition.

10 Days Paid Domestic Violence Leave

No woman should have to choose between her job and leaving an abusive situation. That’s why Labor will establish 10 days paid domestic violence leave.

Housing

On any given day, women’s crisis accommodation services across Australia will have to tell women fleeing violence they have no room to house them or their children.

That’s why, as part of our Housing Australia Future Fund, Labor will allocate an additional 4,000 units of social housing to women and children experiencing family violence and older women on lower incomes.

In addition, we will provide $100 million for crisis and transitional housing for these women. This gives survivors of violence a second chance to rebuild their lives and prosper in the community.

First Nations

We know that First Nations women are 11 times more likely to die as a result of an assault, than non-Indigenous women. First Nations women are hospitalised for family violence at 32 times the rate of non-Indigenous women.

This is why Labor supports calls for a separate national plan for First Nations people to end violence against women and family violence. The plan must be sufficient in scale and ambition and properly resourced to make a difference. 

Racism and gender inequality help drive unacceptably high rates of violence and we cannot ignore them. Ending violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women must be a national priority.

Read more about Labor's policies.

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Electorate Office

334a Marrickville Road
MARRICKVILLE NSW 2204

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

Parliament House Office

PO Box 6022
CANBERRA ACT 2600

Phone: (02) 6277 4022
Fax: (02) 6277 8562

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

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Electorate Office

334a Marrickville Road
MARRICKVILLE NSW 2204

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

Parliament House Office

PO Box 6022
CANBERRA ACT 2600

Phone: (02) 6277 4022
Fax: (02) 6277 8562

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.