All organisations are required to operate without discrimination or other unlawful conduct.
It is essential that organisations operating in Tasmania are aware of and understand their responsibilities under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1998 (Tas) (the Act), which is broader than Federal anti-discrimination law and some other state/territory discrimination laws.
The Anti-Discrimination Act 1998 ('the Act') places obligations on all Tasmanian organisations/employers to take 'reasonable steps' to ensure that all its members, officers, employees, and agents are protected from discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Any organisation that does not comply with these legal responsibilities is liable for any contravention of this Act.
Section 104 of the Act says, organisations must:
There are a number of reasonable steps an organisation can take to ensure their workplace is free from harassment, discrimination they are:
It is important that employers/organisations focus on prevention and appropriate responses when dealing with discrimination and harassment. ‘Reasonable steps’ may vary in accordance with the size of a business. A large corporation’s reasonable expectations are likely to differ to the ‘reasonable steps’ required of a small business.
When responding to a complaint an employer/organisation who has developed good workplace practices should be able to show that it took ‘reasonable steps’ to prevent discrimination and harassment and responded appropriately once it was made aware of the issue.