Department of Family and Community Services

NSW to protect pregnant job seekers from discrimination

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10 Dec 2017

NSW will abolish a law that allows employers to fire or refuse to hire women who knew they were pregnant when applying for a job.

Attorney General Mark Speakman and Minister for Women Tanya Davies today announced the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 will be amended to protect pregnant job seekers from discrimination.

“It’s unacceptable and out of step with modern standards for a woman to be overlooked for a role because she’s pregnant, or dismissed from a new position once it becomes apparent she’s carrying a child,” Mr Speakman said.

Mr Speakman said fair access to employment is good for the NSW economy and vital to the financial and social independence of women.

“We understand the need for employers to plan and be prepared for staff who need to take maternity leave, but an agile workplace that accommodates family commitments is likely to attract and retain the brightest talent,” Mr Speakman said.

Mrs Davies said the NSW Government prides itself on fostering an equal opportunity workplace.

“That’s why we are removing this archaic legal exemption that has discriminated against pregnant women who are seeking employment,” said Mrs Davies.

The reform brings NSW into line with other states, territories and the Commonwealth. The NSW Government acknowledges the advocacy of Dr Mehreen Faruqi in this area.