South Australian Business News

Changes to sexual harassment rules in the Fair Work Act

Elisa Luck
Tuesday, March 28th 2023

As of 6 March 2023, the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) was amended in accordance with the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Act 2022 (Cth), to prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace. 

Under these amendments, it is now prohibited to sexually harass another person who is a worker (a contractor, employee or volunteer), a person who is seeking to become a worker in a business or undertaking or a person conducting a business or undertaking. 

The amendment also extends to third parties including customers or clients of the business or undertaking. 

Employers or the principal of the business are now able to be held vicariously liable for the actions of their employees or agents who sexually harass another worker unless they can show they took reasonable steps to prevent such behavior or an incident from occurring. 

The Fair Work Commission will also have expanded powers to address allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace, including the ability to arbitrate the dispute with consent from the applicant, as well as implement a stop sexual harassment’ order. 

In light of these recent changes, now is the time to reevaluate your business’ Sexual Harassment Policy to insure its legal compliance and that it sets appropriate standards of behaviour that ensure a respectful workplace for all. 

For more information about how you can prevent sexual harassment in your workplace through our expert advisers and training programs contact the South Australian Business Chamber at (08) 8300 0000 or visit busi​ness​-sa​.com/​g​e​t​-​b​u​s​i​n​e​s​s​-​a​dvice

Author

Elisa Luck

General Manager, Programs and Consulting
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