Equal opportunity and diversity
Diversity in the workplace means having employees from a wide range of backgrounds.
This can include having employees of different ages, gender, ethnicity, physical ability, sexual orientation, religious belief, work experience, educational background, and so on.
Equal employment opportunity (eeo) and anti-discrimination
In Australia, national and state laws cover equal employment opportunity and anti-discrimination in the workplace. You're required by these laws to create a workplace free from discrimination and harassment. It's important that as an employer, you understand your rights and responsibilities under human rights and anti-discrimination law. By putting effective anti-discrimination and anti-harassment procedures in place in your business you can improve productivity and increase efficiency.
The Australian Human Rights Commission has a range of fact sheets to help you develop effective policies and best practice guidelines. The Fair Work Ombudsman also provides education and assistance for employees and employers on preventing discrimination in the workplace.
Employing staff fairly
Taking on people facing barriers to employment is often overlooked by employers and can be a useful way of diversifying the skill set within a business. There are funding and incentive schemes available for businesses that support people with a disability, Indigenous Australians, the long-term unemployed and the mature-aged.
Use Grants & Assistance to help you find the most relevant incentives and support to your business.
The Australian Human Rights Commission also offers best practice guidelines for recruitment and selection to help you recruit in a fair and discrimination-free way.
Advantages of diversity in the workplace
If you have a diverse workplace in your business, you can benefit from the different talents, experiences and perspectives of your employees. Find out more about the advantages of employing:
- mature aged workers
- young people
- people with disability
- women in the workplace
- apprentices and trainees
- people from overseas
- Indigenous Australians
- people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
It’s unlawful to disadvantage employees and job seekers in any way because of their:
- sexual orientation
- physical or mental disability
- marital status
- family or carer’s responsibilities
- political opinion
- national extraction
- social origin.
Read about managing employees and religious holidays to make sure you don't discriminate, and help you provide a workplace culture that encourages diversity.
Equal employment opportunity and anti-discrimination in your state or territory
Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Commission - the Commission administers the Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Act and can provide resources and training for employers and employees.
The Equal Opportunity Commission of South Australia provides information for employers and service providers on managing equal opportunity in the workplace.
What to do...
- Read about your employer responsibilities on the Australian Human Rights Commission website.
- Learn more about discrimination at work (including where you can get help resolving issues) on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.
- Check the Australian Human Rights Commission publication list for useful information.
- Read about bullying and harassment in the workplace.
- Check out the Human Rights Commission's Employer's hub to find out about discrimination law and your business.