This online engagement was hosted on YourSAy from 2 November to 27 November 2020. Below is a record of the engagement.
We want your feedback on proposed changes to create a better balance between equality and religious freedom rights for organisations that provide essential services.
What’s being decided?
The Equal Opportunity Act 1984 allows some organisations to discriminate in relation to their staffing practices and how they provide services to their clients.
We want to amend the Act to clarify that organisations providing certain essential services – e.g. health care and aged care – cannot discriminate against workers and care recipients on the basis of sex or LGBTIQ identity.
The changes would also create an exception that lets people or organisations discriminate when selecting people for direct participation in religious practices, which will preserve important religious freedoms. The changes would not affect the current ability of religious schools to hire staff in accordance with their religious values.
The sectors that would be affected by the proposed changes are:
- children’s education
- health care and disability support
- aged care
- emergency accommodation
- public housing
- foster care placement and children’s residential services.
The consultation summary provides further detail on what we are proposing.
Changes will help create a better balance between the right to equality and religious freedom for organisations that provide essential services and will bring South Australia into line with almost every other Australian state and territory.
Read the Equal Opportunity (Religious Bodies) Amendment Bill 2020 and the consultation summary.
To have your say:
- join the online discussion
- email us your submission to LLPSubmissions@sa.gov.au
- post your feedback to
Attorney-General's Department, Legislative Services
GPO Box 464
Adelaide, SA 5001
If you would like your submission to remain confidential please note this is your covering email or letter.
How can your input influence the decision?
Your input will help to ensure that changes to the legislation protect individuals from discrimination when engaging with essential service providers, while still upholding the right to religious freedom in South Australia.
What are the next steps?
Feedback received through the consultation process will help to finalise the Bill to be introduced into Parliament and to amend the Equal Opportunity Act. Parliament would then consider the Bill in due course.
For general inquiries, please email us at LLPSubmissions@sa.gov.au.