What do the amendments do?
Mr Burke explained that:
the purpose of these amendments is to do what the government said it was going to do, which is to implement all 55 recommendations of the Respect@Work report. The amendments do the following: the objects to include achieving gender equality, recommendation 16(a) of the Respect@Work report; the seriously demeaning threshold, recommendation 16(b) of the Respect@Work report; and implementing the hostile environment clauses, recommendation 16(c) of the Respect@Work report. Recommendations 17 and 18 of the Respect@Work report call for a positive duty and compliance powers for the Human Rights Commission. It's not in the government legislation. This amendment will put it there. Recommendation 19 of the Respect@Work report is to implement them. Recommendation 23 of the report is to implement representative actions to allow unions and other representative groups to bring representative claims to court as per complaints to the commission. Recommendation 25 of the Respect@Work report is for the commission to implement cost protections. They're the changes to the Sex Discrimination Act and other acts that were recommended in the report that are not in the current bill.
As for the recommendations for amendments to the Fair Work Act that were in the Respect@Work report, recommendations 28 and 29 deal with the prohibition on sexual harassment in the Fair Work Act and having a complaints process to be able to deal with it. Further, the amendments have an extension of the 'stop sexual harassment order', as per the Human Rights Commission recommendation to the Senate enquiry; and they deal with the recommendation for 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave to be included in the National Employment Standards.
The amendment text is available of this page.