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Equal opportunity and employment - getting it right

The decision to hire someone must be based solely on their ability to do the job. As a potential employer you cannot discriminate against a candidate upon the following grounds or types of discrimination:People standing on jigsaw pieces

  • Age – being regarded as too young or too old;

  • Breastfeeding - being asked not to feed, or to use other facilities to breast or bottle feed;

  • Family responsibility – having a caring role;

  • Family status – being a relative of a particular person or having the status of being a particular  relative;

  • Gender history – having reassigned gender as certified under the Gender Reassignment Act 2000;

  • Impairment – having a physical, intellectual or mental disability that is current, past or imputed;

  • Marital status – being single, married, a de facto partner, separated, divorced or widowed;

  • Political conviction – including a lack of conviction;

  • Pregnancy – being pregnant, having a characteristic associated with pregnancy or generally imputed to persons who are pregnant;

  • Race – including colour, ethnicity or national origin or descent;

  • Racial harassment – including offensive or insulting comments or  other behaviour about a person’s  colour, ethnic background or origin;

  • Religious conviction – including a lack of conviction;

  • Sex – being a man or woman;

  • Sexual harassment – including unwelcome requests for sexual favours, touching and comments  about a person’s private relationships;

  • Sexual orientation – including heterosexuality, homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality or assumed sexual orientation; and

  • Spent conviction - the Commission can investigate discrimination on the ground of spent convictions under the Spent Convictions Act 1988.


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Important information
The Equal Opportunity Act 1984 recognises and addresses discrimination in the area of employment.

For further information, visit the Equal employment Opportunity publication, Guidelines for employers preventing discrimination against applicants and employees