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Equal Employment Opportunity

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) is about ensuring that workplaces are free from all forms of unlawful discrimination and harassment. This means having workplace rules, policies, practices and behaviours that are fair and do not disadvantage people because they belong to particular groups.

Eliminating discrimination

Discrimination is treating someone unfairly or harassing them because they belong to a particular group. Under the Anti-Discrimination legislation, it is against the law for any employer to discriminate against an employee or job applicant because of their:

  • age;
  • sex;
  • pregnancy;
  • disability (includes past, present or possible future disability);
  • race, colour, ethnic or ethno-religious background, descent or nationality;
  • marital status;
  • homosexuality;
  • gender identification; or
  • carer's responsibilities.

Both direct and indirect discrimination are against the law.

Direct discrimination

Direct discrimination means treatment that is obviously unfair or unequal. For example, if an employer will not hire someone just because they are a woman this is likely to be direct sex discrimination.

Indirect discrimination

Indirect discrimination means having a requirement that is the same for everyone but has an effect or result that is unfair to particular groups. It is the responsibility of every employee to help prevent unlawful discrimination in their workplace.