Queensland to investigate sexual harassment protections for workers

Published Monday, 03 May, 2021 at 02:08 PM


Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing
The Honourable Grace Grace

Sexual harassment protections for workers will be investigated as part of a review of Queensland’s industrial relations laws.

Speaking at Labour Day celebrations at Barcaldine in central Queensland, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queensland’s worker safety net was due for review.

“Our industrial protections must keep pace with the changing shape of work to ensure everyone gets a fair go,” the Premier said.

“And as recent events have shown, sexual harassment and gender inequity in the workplace is a pressing issue that needs addressing. 

“Our review of the Industrial Relations Act will investigate industrial protections for workers subjected to sexual harassment, including the independent Queensland Industrial Relations Commission having the power to make anti-sexual harassment orders.  

“As we look at current issues in the workplace, the review will also investigate protections for workers in precarious and short-term employment arrangements in Queensland, such as independent courier drivers.”

The Premier said the review would dovetail with the Palaszczuk Government’s response to the recommendations of Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report.

The review will commence soon and will include extensive consultation with unions and other stakeholders.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the Palaszczuk Labor Government had a proud record of protecting workers’ rights.

“We were the first state in Australia to make industrial manslaughter an offence, which now carries maximum penalties of 20-year jail terms and fines of up to $10 million,” she said.

“We made wage theft a criminal offence and made it easier for workers to recover lost wages. 

“Our nation-leading labour hire licensing laws protect workers from exploitation at the hands of unscrupulous providers. 

“We’ve delivered substantial reforms to mine safety and built fair wages into major infrastructure projects

“We’ve delivered portable long service leave for Queensland’s 40,000 or so community sector workers, most of them women, and the nation’s first paid domestic and family violence leave

“We’ve improved our workers’ compensation laws and restored rights stripped away by the LNP.

“The Labour Day public holiday is back in its rightful place in May and we have legislation before the Parliament to make it easier for our first responders tp receive compensation for PTSD.

 “The Palaszczuk Government will continue to champion the rights of modern-day workers in the 21st century, as it always has.”


Media contact: Jack Harbour 0419 620 447