Employers groups moan new workplace sexual harassment laws are unfair – as critics slam Scott Morrison for refusing to adopt report’s key recommendations
- Employers groups criticised timeframe during when complaints can be made
- Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins: key recommendations ignored
- Labor senator Kristina Keneally said the government needed a concrete plan
- PM brought in sweeping changes after workplace sexual harassment report
Scott Morrison remains under pressure to take stronger action against workplace sexual harassment after finally responding to a landmark report.
The prime minister has proposed some common-sense reforms in response to the Respect at Work report.
It will soon be easier to sack sexual harassers including federal politicians and judges.
Scott Morrison remains under pressure to take stronger action against workplace sexual harassment after finally responding to a landmark report
But he has been criticised for refusing to adopt some of the key recommendations, including giving further investigative powers to a national watchdog.
Mr Morrison has also baulked at introducing a positive duty to protect workers from sexual harassment.
Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins, who wrote the report, vowed to continue pushing for the critical change.
‘At the moment, the laws on sexual harassment really only come to life if a victim complains. That leaves a huge burden on individuals who have been harassed,’ she told Nine on Friday.
‘That needs to change. The government said they will continue to assess that and I will continue to raise that with them.’
The prime minister has also attracted criticism from employers groups about some of the steps taken.
Labor senator Kristina Keneally said while some of the proposed changes were welcome the government needed a concrete plan, not just an announcement
They are worried about increasing from six months to two years the time in which a workplace sexual harassment complaint can be made.
Labor senator Kristina Keneally said while some of the proposed changes were welcome the government needed a concrete plan, not just an announcement.
‘There is no legislation, there’s no funding attached, there’s no reporting mechanism,’ she told the ABC.
‘The devil here is in the detail and what do we see in 24 hours, that is the prime minister’s claim that he’s accepted all the recommendations has been undercut.’
Labor is challenging the prime minister to dump disgraced Queensland MP Andrew Laming if he takes harassment seriously.
Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins, who wrote the report, vowed to continue pushing for the critical change
Dr Laming is on paid leave to undertake empathy training after being accused of harassing two female constituents and taking a photo of a woman while she was bending over.
He is quitting at the next election but Mr Morrison has resisted calls to dump him because it would plunge the coalition into minority government.
Senator Keneally said Mr Morrison could not be taken seriously while Dr Laming remained a member of government.
Labor is also calling on the government to introduce 10 days of paid domestic violence leave.
Australian Council of Trade Unions president Michele O’Neil said the response didn’t go far enough.
‘It’s a road map with big potholes in it, and unfortunately the victims of sexual harassment – many women and some men – are going to fall through those holes,’ she told the ABC.