Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Age Discrimination Bill 2004

Part 1 Preliminary

   

1   Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Age Discrimination Act 2003 .

2   Commencement

                   This Act commences on the day after it receives the Royal Assent.

3   Objects

                   The objects of this Act are:

                     (a)  to eliminate, as far as possible, discrimination against persons on the ground of age in the areas of work, education, access to premises, the provision of goods, services and facilities, accommodation, the disposal of land, the administration of Commonwealth laws and programs and requests for information; and

                     (b)  to ensure, as far as practicable, that everyone has the same rights to equality before the law, regardless of age, as the rest of the community; and

                     (c)  to allow appropriate benefits and other assistance to be given to people of a certain age, particularly younger and older persons, in recognition of their particular circumstances; and

                     (d)  to promote recognition and acceptance within the community of the principle that people of all ages have the same fundamental rights; and

                     (e)  to respond to demographic change by:

                              (i)  removing barriers to older people participating in society, particularly in the workforce; and

                             (ii)  changing negative stereotypes about older people;

                            bearing in mind the international commitment to eliminate age discrimination reflected in the Political Declaration adopted in Madrid, Spain on 12 April 2002 by the Second World Assembly on Ageing.

4   Simplified outline

                   The following is a simplified outline of this Act:

•      This Act makes it unlawful to discriminate on the ground of age.

•      This Act has effect subject to certain geographical and constitutional limitations (see Part 2).

•      Discrimination on the ground of age can be direct or indirect (see Part 3).

•      It is unlawful to discriminate on the ground of age in relation to work (see Division 2 of Part 4) and certain other areas (see Division 3 of Part 4).

•      It is not unlawful to discriminate on the ground of age if a particular exemption is applicable (see Divisions 4 and 5 of Part 4).

•      It is an offence to do certain things related to age discrimination (see Part 5).

•      Complaints can be made to the Commission about unlawful discrimination (see the definition of unlawful discrimination in subsection 3(1) of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986 , and section 46P of that Act).

•      Functions are given to the Commission (see Part 6).

•      Provision is made for miscellaneous matters such as delegation, protection from civil actions etc. (see Part 7).

5   Definitions

                   In this Act:

act has a meaning affected by section 7.

administrative office means:

                     (a)  an office established by, or an appointment made under, a law of the Commonwealth; and

                     (b)  an office established by, or an appointment made under, a law of a Territory; and

                     (c)  an appointment made by the Governor-General or a Minister otherwise than under a law of the Commonwealth or of a Territory; and

                     (d)  an appointment as a director of an incorporated company that is a public authority of the Commonwealth;

but does not include:

                     (e)  an office of member of the Assembly, member of the Executive, or Minister within the meaning of the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988 ; or

                      (f)  an office of member of the Legislative Assembly, member of the Council or Minister of the Territory, within the meaning of the Northern Territory (Self-Government) Act 1978 ; or

                     (g)  an office of member of the Legislative Assembly within the meaning of the Norfolk Island Act 1979 ; or

                     (h)  an office or appointment in the Australian Public Service.

age includes age group.

Example:    The reference in subsection 26(3) to students above a particular age includes a reference to students above a particular age group.

Commission means the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission established by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986 .

Commonwealth employee means a person who:

                     (a)  is appointed or engaged under the Public Service Act 1999 ; or

                     (b)  holds an administrative office; or

                     (c)  is employed by a public authority of the Commonwealth; or

                     (d)  is employed under the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 , the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 or the Naval Defence Act 1910 ; or

                     (e)  is a member of the Defence Force; or

                      (f)  is the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, a Deputy Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, an AFP employee or a special member of the Australian Federal Police (all within the meaning of the Australian Federal Police Act 1979 ).

Commonwealth law means:

                     (a)  an Act, regulation, or other instrument made under an Act; or

                     (b)  an ordinance of a Territory, a regulation made under an ordinance of a Territory, or another instrument made under an ordinance of a Territory; or

                     (c)  an order or award made under a law mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b).

discriminate has the meaning given by sections 14 and 15.

employment includes:

                     (a)  part-time and temporary employment; and

                     (b)  work under a contract for services; and

                     (c)  work as a Commonwealth employee; and

                     (d)  work as an employee of a State or an instrumentality of a State.

function includes duty.

instrumentality of a State means a body or authority established for a public purpose by a law of a State and includes a local government body.

premises includes:

                     (a)  a structure, building, aircraft, vehicle or vessel; and

                     (b)  a place (whether enclosed or built on or not); and

                     (c)  a part of premises (including premises of a kind mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b)).

President means President of the Commission.

public authority of the Commonwealth means:

                     (a)  a body incorporated, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, for a public purpose by a law of the Commonwealth or a law of a Territory, being a body corporate employing staff on its own behalf; or

                     (b)  an authority or body, not being a body corporate, established, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, for a public purpose by, or in accordance with the provisions of, a law of the Commonwealth or a law of a Territory, being an authority or body employing staff on its own behalf; or

                     (c)  an incorporated company over which the Commonwealth, or a body or authority mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b), is in a position to exercise control.

services includes:

                     (a)  services relating to banking, insurance, superannuation and the provision of grants, loans, credit or finance; or

                     (b)  services relating to entertainment, recreation or refreshment; or

                     (c)  services relating to transport or travel; or

                     (d)  services relating to telecommunications; or

                     (e)  services of the kind provided by the members of any profession or trade; or

                      (f)  services of the kind provided by a government, a government authority or a local government body.

State , except in subsections 10(10) and (11), includes the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

Territory , except in subsection 10(11) or in paragraph (c) of the definition of administrative office in this section, does not include the Australian Capital Territory or the Northern Territory.

this Act includes the regulations.

6   Age discrimination not to include disability discrimination

                   For the purposes of this Act, a reference to discrimination against a person on the ground of the person’s age is taken not to include a reference to discrimination against a person on the ground of a disability of the person (within the meaning of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 ).

7   Meaning of act —omission to act

                   For the purposes of this Act, omitting to do an act is taken to be the doing of an act and a reference to an act includes a reference to an omission to do an act.

8   Commonwealth taken to be employer

                   For the purposes of this Act, the Commonwealth is taken to be the employer of all Commonwealth employees.