Discrimination and harassment

There are State and Commonwealth laws prohibiting discrimination on various grounds in certain areas of public life.  In many circumstances, as they go about their day-to-day business, incorporated associations will be required to comply with relevant anti-discrimination legislation and the related harassment laws.  This chapter provides an overview of anti-discrimination legislation and its implications for incorporated associations.

Key Points

  • There is extensive Commonwealth and Western Australian legislation that prohibits unlawful discrimination and harassment on various grounds in certain areas of public life.  Incorporated associations will generally be subject to anti-discrimination legislation, and need to be particularly mindful of discrimination in the areas of employment, the provision of goods, services and facilities, and membership of the incorporated association.
  • Incorporated associations need to have a policy (and grievance procedure) in place that deals with discrimination, harassment and victimisation.  Training for employees and members about discrimination and harassment may also be necessary.
  • Complaints of unlawful discrimination or harassment can be made to the Equal Opportunity Commission (in relation to complaints of non-compliance with Western Australian legislation) or the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (in relation to complaints of non-compliance with Commonwealth legislation).