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Changes to the Respect at Work legislation

The amendments to the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment Act have now come into effect.

The object of the changes was to support workplaces and workers to address sexual harassment claims and include miscarriages as a reason for a person to access compassionate leave.

The major changes to the act are outlined below.

  • Workers who believe they have been harassed and meet an eligibility criteria will be able to apply to the Fair Work Commission to obtain a stop sexual harassment order.
  • The Fair Work Act now provides a definition of sexual harassment as any unwelcome sexual advance, unwelcome request for sexual favour or any other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. 
  • Sexual harassment conduct is now classified as serious misconduct and a valid reason for dismissal under the Fair Work Act (procedural requirements should still be followed).
  • Employees can take up to 2 days of compassionate leave for their (or their spouse or defacto’s) miscarriage, stillbirth or death of a child.

For more information, please contact Signature Law on 4861 2345 or email

Please note this blog is general in nature and for information purposes only and should not be relied on for legal advice. Should you require advice regarding the information in this email please contact us so we may provide advice specific to your needs and circumstances.

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