Human Rights Commission’s New Workplace Harassment Powers Come Into Force

Human Rights Commission’s New Workplace Harassment Powers Come Into Force

The Australian Human Rights Commission’s (AHRC) new powers over workplace accountability and cultural transformation for businesses and organisations have come into force.

“Leaders of organisations and businesses play a crucial role in setting an example in preventing unlawful conduct and fostering a culture of respect and inclusiveness”, said Sex Discrimination Commissioner Dr Anna Cody (pictured above).

“This is an opportunity for Australian workplaces to become what they should be – safe, inclusive, gender-equal, respectful and free from sexual harassment and sex discrimination.”

As of today, the Commission has new regulatory powers to ensure Australian workplaces, organisations and businesses meet the positive duty requirements.

“Organisations and businesses are now required to focus on actively preventing unlawful conduct connected to work, rather than responding only after it happens,” said Dr Cody.

“The Australian Human Rights Commission will have the authority to ensure and inquire into a duty holder’s compliance with the positive duty.”

“The purpose of the positive duty is the creation of safer, more inclusive and respectful workplaces throughout Australia.

By ensuring compliance with the positive duty obligations, the Commission, alongside Australian organisations and businesses, is taking significant strides towards fostering meaningful cultural change,” says Dr Cody.

The Commission has published a Compliance and Enforcement Policy, offering guidance on how it will exercise its regulatory functions and outlining how the Commission will support duty holders and provide the necessary information crucial for compliance.

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