In Queensland, you are entitled to be treated fairly and not judged by your sex, race, age or religion, whether you have an impairment or hold certain political beliefs. The law that prohibits discrimination, sexual harassment, vilification and victimisation is the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld).
In addition, the Industrial Relations Act 2016 (Qld) (the Act) provides for a general protection from workplace discrimination and gives the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) exclusive jurisdiction to hear work-related matters under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 after they have been investigated and referred to QIRC by the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland (ADCQ).
The QIRC is also responsible for granting an exemption to allow a person or business to do something work-related that is otherwise unlawful under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 and providing opinions on work-related anti-discrimination matters to the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner.
ADCQ has responsibilities under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 to promote the understanding, acceptance and public discussion of human rights in Queensland.
ADCQ provide the following services:
Complaints are lodged with ADCQ who assess if the conduct described maybe unlawful. If so, ADCQ arrange a meeting with the complainant and the respondent. If the parties cannot agree, a work-related complaint is referred to the QIRC and a non-work related complaint is referred to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).
A work-related matter is a complaint or other matter relating to, or including, work or the work-related area. Work includes, for example, pre-work, work under a contract for services, commission work, work experience, voluntary work and work in an employment relationship.
The Act maintains the QIRC as a lay jurisdiction, however, for discrimination matters parties may be legally represented if all parties agree or if the QIRC grants leave to be represented.
Further information about legal representation can be found on the QIRC website.
For specific information, contact your employer’s Human Resources or Industrial Relations area or your union.