Equal Opportunity Guidelines for Advertisers
Federal and State anti-discrimination laws make it unlawful to publish or display an advertisement that indicates, or could reasonably be understood to indicate, an intention to discriminate.
It is your responsibility as the employer or recruiter to ensure that your advertisement complies with all relevant employment and anti-discrimination laws applicable in the state in which you conduct business.
These guidelines are intended to assist you in writing the advertisement but they are not intended to be nor should they be relied on as a substitute for legal or other professional advice.
The relevant laws prohibit both direct and indirect discrimination. Direct discrimination occurs when a person with a certain attribute is treated less favourably than a person who does not have that attribute in the same or similar circumstances. Indirect discrimination concerns a requirement which appears neutral but is unreasonable and a significant proportion of people with a particular attribute are unable to meet that requirement.
Anti-discrimination laws apply to all employers in Australia, and to all recruitment processes undertaken in Australia by an Australian or an overseas company.
It is illegal to discriminate against, or in favour of, the following attributes in employment advertising: age, breastfeeding, disability, transgender status, industrial activity, marital status, family responsibilities, physical features, political belief or activity, pregnancy, race, religious belief or activity, sex, sexual orientation and personal association with person with attributes identified.
An advertisement cannot ask for Australian Citizenship. It can, however, ask for an authority to work in Australia.
Age cannot be specified in employment advertising. The use of mature, senior and junior are examples of indirect discrimination. Terms such as Senior or Junior should only be used for genuinely established job titles that indicate a particular professional level grading, for example, Senior Lecturer.
If you have a written authorised exemption from the relevant government body, please contact us at the numbers listed below and provide us with a copy of the exemption.
For further information about equal opportunity and anti-discrimination laws please contact the Equal Opportunity Commission or Anti-Discrimination Board in your state.
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