Morrison’s Religious Discrimination Bill Overrides Other Protections
The IEU supports protections against all forms of discrimination, including religious belief or activity.
Everyone has the right to a safe, healthy, and respectful workplace regardless of religion, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity, disability, or other personal attributes.
Legislation should protect all of us, equally.
However, the Morrison’s Religious Discrimination has potential to undermine existing discrimination protections by prioritising religion over attributes and thereby overriding existing protections for women, people of disability, First Nation, LGBTIQ+
This proposed legislation purports to protect people from discrimination, instead it provides employers with new rights to discriminate.
The Religious Discrimination Bill 2021, if accepted will:
- Privilege the rights of religious organisations over individual employees’ beliefs, even where their beliefs or activities have no relevance to their job.
- Act as a mechanism to discriminate against IEU members who raise complaints, seek assistance, or take other action in their workplace to stand up for their own rights or the rights of others.
- Allow religious bodies – schools, hospitals, aged care facilities and accommodation providers – to hire, fire or promote any worker based on their religion, regardless on their suitability for the job.
- Protect people who make discriminatory religious statements of belief, even if they are offensive, inappropriate, and harmful.
- Override existing and proposed State/Territory legislative protections
An Open Parliamentary Inquiry Is Needed
The Religious Discrimination Bill must not be brought to a vote in Parliament until a joint parliamentary committee inquiry has had sufficient time to hold public hearings to consider its impact on vulnerable communities
This is a complicated piece of legislation. There must be time and opportunity provided for unpack the consequences of the legislation and its impact on vulnerable communities.
IEU members must be provided with the opportunity to have their concerns regarding the Religious Discrimination Bill heard
IEU members are able to call for this by:
- Emailing the Prime Minister Scott Morrison (https://www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm ) and call for opportunities for public consultation on the potential impact of the Bill on minority groups, LGBTQI+, women and people with disability.
- Emailing the Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese ( Albanese.MP@aph.gov.au) calling on him to ensure full consultation on the Bill; and to speak out for protections for all workers who are vulnerable in their communities and in their workplaces; for legislative protections for those who raise complaints, seek assistance, or take other action in their workplace to stand up for their own rights or the rights of others.
- Contacting local Member of Parliament http://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Members) to ask what actions they take to ensure that the impact of the legislation will not make workers more vulnerable in their workplace and community.