The NSW Government will remove pregnancy discrimination exemptions from the NSW anti discrimination laws following a campaign from the Greens. The changes will update NSW law and protect pregnant people from employment discrimination. (http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/law-allowing-bosses-to-sack-pregnant-women-to-be-abolished-20171208-h01qt1.html)
Greens MP and Spokesperson for the Status of Women, Dr. Mehreen Faruqi, gave notice of a bill to remove pregnancy discrimination exemptions from NSW Anti-Discrimination Law in September 2017, and then met with Attorney General Mark Speakman to get the Government on board. Now the NSW Government has agreed to remove these two discriminatory sections from the law.
In the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act 1977, Sections 25 (1A) and 25 (2A) protect employers who refuse to hire pregnant women, or fire women who were pregnant at the time of hiring.
Dr. Faruqi said,
“This is a huge win for our campaign to remove pregnancy discrimination from the lawbooks and for women in NSW who were falling through the cracks because of these absurd exemptions in our anti-discrimination law.
“This shows that with determined activism, and by working together, we can make changes that have far reaching impacts on people all over the state. I acknowledge and thank the NSW Government for agreeing to make this very important change in our law.
“We know pregnancy discrimination at work is still a huge problem in Australia and many women suffer in silence.We still live in a society where too many people think pregnancy and motherhood are incompatible with work, but having these laws that protect employers who discriminat against pregnant women only compound the problem.
“The fact that NSW has these exceptions means that they are turned away from the NSW Anti-Discrimination Commission which is unacceptable. We urgently need to change this law to protect pregnant women from discrimination.I’m glad the NSW Government is moving to remove these discriminatory laws,” she concluded.