Substantive equality at work: still elusive under Australia's Fair Work Act

Beth Gaze, Anna Chapman, Adriana Orifici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


In 2009, protections were enacted for the first time in the labour law statute that enable workers to bring a claim alleging discrimination in their employment beyond the context of termination of employment. Those provisions are positioned as part of a set of General Protections contained in Part 3-1 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). They were enacted to operate alongside anti-discrimination law, which has been in existence in Australia for some 40 years. This article reports on a research project that has examined the development of the Part 3-1 protections, and their interactions with anti-discrimination law, to address the question of whether the new protections enacted with the 2009 labour law statute have furthered substantive equality at work. Due to a number of matters explored in the article, the authors conclude that such equality remains elusive in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-235
Number of pages22
JournalAustralian Journal of Labour Law
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • labour law
  • Discrimination law

Cite this