Discussion Paper – Review of the Equal Opportunity Act

Public notice
The Law Reform Commission has released a Discussion Paper which outlines options and poses questions about changing Western Australia’s anti-discrimination laws in order to guide the drafting of submissions.

Overview

Chapters 1 to 5 of the Discussion Paper set out the background to this review, and a comparison of the anti-discrimination laws that apply in Western Australia with those in effect in other States and Territories, as well as in the Commonwealth jurisdiction. Chapter 6 contains the Commission’s discussion of potential options for reform and questions for stakeholders.

Chapter Summary
Chapter 1
Terms of Reference
This chapter sets out the scope of, and background to, the Commission's review of the Act.
Chapter 2
Making a submission and the Commission's questions at a glance
This chapter sets out the questions and issues raised by the Commission's review of the Act, which are discussed in detail in Chapter 6.
Chapter 3
The current Act
This chapter is designed to ensure that people who are not familiar with the Act can refer to a summary of its current provisions to inform their submissions.
Chapter 4
Other States and Territories
This chapter summarises how the Act compares with the anti-discrimination laws of other States and Territories. This chapter will assist people to understand where the Act may differ from the protections offered in other States and Territories.
Chapter 5
Commonwealth laws and proposals
This chapter summarises how the Act compares with the anti-discrimination laws of the Commonwealth. The laws of the Commonwealth are separately summarised because an individual in Western Australia may have the option to make a complaint or claim under Commonwealth anti-discrimination laws instead of the Act.
Chapter 6
Potential reforms and questions
This chapter includes the substantive discussion of potential options for reform and questions for stakeholders in relation to the Act. This discussion has been formulated based on a comparison of other anti-discrimination laws, including those Australian laws summarised in Chapters 4 and 5, some international comparison and consideration of novel provisions.

Discussion Paper

 
Review of the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (WA) - Project 111 Discussion Paper

Issues Papers

In order to assist stakeholders and members of the public to make submissions, the Commission has prepared the following issues papers which address in a summary way some of the issues raised in the Discussion Paper:

 
Should the definition of 'impairment' be changed?
 
Should the definition of 'race' be changed?
 
Should the definition of 'sexual harassment' be changed?
 
Should the Act specifically include sexual harassment by members of Parliament?
 
Should the Act specifically include sexual harassment by judicial officers?
 
Should unpaid or volunteer workers be included in the definition of 'employees'?
 
Should the definition of 'gender identity' be changed?
 
Should there be a definition of ‘religious or political conviction’ or should the phrase be changed?
 
Should the Act prohibit discrimination against a person because they use an assistance or therapeutic animal?
 
Should the Act impose a duty on some entities to eliminate discrimination?
 
If so, what should be the content of the duty?
 
If so, how should the duty be enforced?

How do I make a submission?

A submission can be made as detailed below.  There is no particular format you need to follow, however, it will assist the Commission if you address one or more of the questions listed in the Discussion Paper (PDF 1.8MB).

Submissions can be made by:

Please contact the Commission if you wish to receive the Discussion Paper or make a submission in an alternative format.

Further information about community consultations will be provided shortly.

Closing date for submissions

The closing date for submissions is Friday, 29 October 2021.

Page reviewed 19 October 2021