Discrimination - the Data and the Gaps

“It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data” (Sherlock Holmes)

Key Points:
  • Plain English, responsive and progressive policies are a vital part of any response to workplace discrimination issues.
  • Data identifying the occurrence of discrimination is lagging behind the best intentions.
  • Despite good intentions and after years of policy development discrimination continues to occur.

​There is a genuine drive by Australian employers to improve responses to discrimination and harassment within their workplace and broader client environment. Having in place plain English, responsive and progressive policies and procedures forms a vital part of any best practice approach.

However, the best responses are arguably formed when business have a clear idea about what the key issues and risks look like and who is affected.  Unfortunately, when it comes to discrimination, the data in some areas is lagging behind the best intentions.

Current reporting levels of occurrences of discrimination and harassment are, in many ways, difficult to gauge. There are no uniform reporting requirements in NSW, let alone across Australia and the world, and, for a number of reasons, institutions and individuals are often de-incentivised from reporting discriminatory behaviour. Although a few individual employers may take a proactive approach to collecting data within their own organisation, this appears to occur infrequently. 

What both the limited data available and anecdotal evidence shows is despite decades of attempts to quell these issues, exploitation, discrimination and harassment still occur.

The question then becomes how to address the joint issues of discrimination and policy oversight and who needs to take leadership.

If you need assistance with addressing issues of discrimination and harassment in workplaces, Hicksons Partner Jennifer Parkes works alongside employers to review, develop and implement efficient, plain English policies and procedures.

Post by Jennifer Parkes 

Most Popular Articles

Blog

Service of Notices by Registered Post

Where service of a notice is authorised or required by post, unless the contrary intention appears, service will be deemed to be effected at the time when the notice would be delivered in the ordinary course of post: see the various Acts Interpretation acts of the States and Commonwealth.
Blog

When can the unqualified be qualified? Non-lawyers engaging in legal practice - when is it OK and when is the law broken

Only lawyers can provide legal advice, but anyone can provide legal information. When thinking of the difference, you might ask your friend or colleague to provide information about a serious illness; however you would seek out a qualified medical professional in relation to its treatment.
Blog

Abolition of Duties – 1 July 2016

On 1 July 2016, mortgage duty, certain business asset duties and marketable duties (shares and units) are being abolished in New South Wales. 

Subscribe to Our Blog

Keeping you connected, Hicksons regularly publishes articles to keep you up to date on the latest developments. To receive these updates via email, please subscribe below and indicate which areas of law you would like to receive information on.

Top