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Friday, 16 December 1983
Page: 3962

Senator HARRADINE(11.11) — I will be very brief in speaking to this clause because my next amendment is the most vital one. Clause 14 (3) states:

Nothing in paragraph (1) (a) or (b) renders it unlawful for a person to discriminate against another person, on the ground of the other person's sex, in connection with employment to perform domestic duties on the premises on which the first-mentioned person resides.

I move:

(4) Page 12, sub-clause 14 (3), line 12, after 'sex', insert 'or marital status '.

I point out very briefly that the exemption that is contained in that sub-clause is too narrow as it is confined to the acknowledgement of an entitlement to discriminate on the grounds of sex. I ask the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Status of Women (Senator Ryan) whether the exemption would permit discrimination against a person living in an open de facto relationship, bearing in mind that this is in the nature of employing people to perform domestic duties and that this legislation, for the first time in the Commonwealth, is placing a de facto relationship on the same basis as a married relationship and forcing individuals to accept that situation. Clause 30 is headed 'Certain discrimination on ground of sex not unlawful' and states:

. . . being a position in relation to which it is a genuine occupational qualification to be a person of the opposite sex to the sex of the other person.

How would the exemption in that clause relate to genuine occupational qualifications? How would the exemptions in clause 35, that is, the residential care of children provision, apply bearing in mind the situation that if one employs people to perform domestic duties in a house of which the owners of the house or of the institution have the responsibility of residential care of children? Finally, how do the exemptions operate in respect of clause 38 ' Educational institutions established for religious purposes'?