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Religious Discrimination Bill 2021

2019-2020-2021

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

Religious Discrimination Bill 2021

 

No.      , 2021

 

(Attorney-General)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act relating to discrimination on the ground of religious belief or activity, and for related purposes

   

   

   



Contents

Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                                              1

1............ Short title............................................................................................ 1

2............ Commencement.................................................................................. 2

3............ Objects of this Act.............................................................................. 2

4............ Simplified outline of this Act............................................................. 3

5............ Definitions.......................................................................................... 4

6............ Extended meaning of ground ............................................................. 9

Part 2—Conduct etc. that is not discrimination                                                10

7............ Religious bodies may generally act in accordance with their faith etc. 10

8............ Certain conduct by religious hospitals, aged care facilities, accommodation providers and disability service providers that is not covered by section 7........................................ 11

9............ Areas of public life in which the conduct of religious hospitals, aged care facilities, accommodation providers and disability service providers is not discrimination...................... 12

10.......... Reasonable conduct intended to meet a need or reduce a disadvantage  15

11.......... Conduct in relation to employment by religious educational institutions—overriding certain State and Territory laws................................................................................... 15

12.......... Statements of belief.......................................................................... 16

Part 3—Concept of discrimination on the ground of religious belief or activity                18

13.......... Discrimination on the ground of religious belief or activity—direct discrimination               18

14.......... Discrimination on the ground of religious belief or activity—indirect discrimination            18

15.......... Discrimination on the ground of religious belief or activity—qualifying body conduct rules                19

16.......... Discrimination extends to persons associated with individuals who hold or engage in a religious belief or activity.............................................................................................. 20

17.......... Conduct engaged in for 2 or more reasons....................................... 21

Part 4—Unlawful discrimination                                                                                22

Division 1—Introduction                                                                                             22

18.......... Introduction...................................................................................... 22

Division 2—Discrimination in work                                                                       23

19.......... Employment..................................................................................... 23

20.......... Partnerships...................................................................................... 23

21.......... Qualifying bodies............................................................................. 24

22.......... Registered organisations................................................................... 25

23.......... Employment agencies....................................................................... 25

Division 3—Discrimination in other areas                                                          27

24.......... Education.......................................................................................... 27

25.......... Access to premises........................................................................... 27

26.......... Goods, services and facilities........................................................... 28

27.......... Accommodation............................................................................... 28

28.......... Land.................................................................................................. 29

29.......... Sport................................................................................................. 29

30.......... Clubs................................................................................................. 29

31.......... Requesting or requiring information................................................ 30

32.......... Commonwealth laws and programs................................................. 30

33.......... Victimisation.................................................................................... 31

Division 4—Exceptions and exemptions                                                               33

Subdivision A—Introduction                                                                                33

34.......... Certain conduct by religious bodies is not covered by this Division 33

Subdivision B—General exceptions                                                                     33

35.......... Counselling, promoting etc. a serious offence................................. 33

36.......... Conferring charitable benefits.......................................................... 33

37.......... Conduct in direct compliance with certain legislation etc............... 34

38.......... Orders, determinations and industrial instruments........................... 35

Subdivision C—Specific exceptions relating to particular areas of public life              36

39.......... Exceptions relating to work.............................................................. 36

40.......... Exceptions relating to accommodation and facilities....................... 37

41.......... Exception for disposal of land.......................................................... 39

42.......... Exception relating to clubs............................................................... 39

43.......... Exception relating to voluntary bodies............................................. 39

Subdivision D—Exemptions granted by the Commission                             39

44.......... Commission may grant exemptions................................................. 39

45.......... Applying for an exemption............................................................... 40

46.......... Effect of exemptions........................................................................ 40

47.......... Variation and revocation of exemptions.......................................... 40

48.......... Review by Administrative Appeals Tribunal................................... 41

Part 5—Offences                                                                                                                   42

49.......... Unlawful conduct is not an offence unless expressly provided....... 42

50.......... Victimisation.................................................................................... 42

51.......... Advertisements................................................................................. 44

Part 6—Religious Discrimination Commissioner                                            45

52.......... Religious Discrimination Commissioner......................................... 45

53.......... Term of appointment........................................................................ 45

54.......... Remuneration of Commissioner....................................................... 45

55.......... Leave of absence.............................................................................. 46

56.......... Outside employment......................................................................... 46

57.......... Other terms and conditions of appointment..................................... 46

58.......... Resignation....................................................................................... 46

59.......... Termination...................................................................................... 47

60.......... Acting Commissioner....................................................................... 48

Part 7—Functions of the Australian Human Rights Commission         49

61.......... Functions of the Commission........................................................... 49

Part 8—Application and constitutional provisions                                         51

62.......... This Act binds the Crown................................................................. 51

63.......... Geographical application of this Act................................................ 51

64.......... Constitutional basis of this Act........................................................ 51

65.......... Additional operation of this Act....................................................... 52

66.......... Limited application provisions......................................................... 55

67.......... Compensation for acquisition of property........................................ 55

68.......... Relationship with State and Territory laws...................................... 56

Part 9—Other matters                                                                                                       57

69.......... Delegation........................................................................................ 57

70.......... Liability of persons involved in unlawful conduct........................... 57

71.......... Conduct by representatives.............................................................. 58

72.......... Protection from civil actions............................................................ 59

73.......... No right of action unless expressly provided................................... 59

74.......... Non-disclosure of protected information......................................... 60

75.......... Commissioner to give information to the Commission.................... 61

76.......... Review of operation of Act.............................................................. 61

77.......... Regulations....................................................................................... 61



A Bill for an Act relating to discrimination on the ground of religious belief or activity, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts: