Australia to end harassment exemption for judges and politicians

By Reuters10 days ago

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SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia will remove exemptions for judges and politicians from sexual harassment laws, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday, as his government struggles to contain a backlash over allegations of mistreatment of female lawmakers and staff.

Under broad changes designed to empower complainants in workplace gender-related disputes, employers will be required to take a proactive approach to stopping gender discrimination, while complainants get a longer period of time to lodge their complaint, Morrison said.

Early last year, a report by Australia's sex discrimination commissioner called for broad changes to workplace laws including removing exemptions for public sector employers and people who hire volunteers.

Morrison said on Thursday he will adopt all 55 of the commissioner's recommendations which include a blanket ban on workplace gender discrimination, mandatory training of company directors and reporting by listed companies, as well as improved coordination between complaint-handling agencies.

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