Finalize the world-first National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces, led by the Australian Human Rights Commission

Sexual harassment continues to pervade Australian workplaces. One in three Australians (33 per cent) have experienced sexual harassment at work in the past five years, with women more likely to be victims compared to men. To support practical action to address this issue, the Australian Government has contributed AUD500,000 towards the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in the Workplace.

The inquiry is considering the drivers of sexual harassment in the workplace, the use of technology and social media, the adequacy of the existing legal framework, as well current practices to inform practical recommendations that will assist Australian workplaces to be safe and respectful. The inquiry is due to deliver its report later this year.

Legislateon increased flexibility and improved access to government-funded Paid Parental Leave

Later this year, the Australian Government will introduce legislation to increase the flexibility and access to government funded Paid Parental Leave.

The proposed changes will allow parents to access leave payments tailored to best suit their needs by splitting their leave into blocks of time. This will provide flexibility to self-employed and small-business owner women who choose to returnto their business periodically after the birth of their child. The eligibility rules for will also be changed to allow women who work irregularly, or who need to stop work early in their pregnancy, to access government funded Paid Parental Leave.

Develop a second National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security

Australia is committed to advancing the Women, Peace and Security agenda. The current Australian National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security articulates a whole of government commitment to protect women’s human rights in fragile, conflict and post-conflict settings. Australia’s first National Action Plan will end in 2019 and the Government is current finalising development of a second National Action Plan.

Delivera second Women’s Economic Security Statement supported with measures to improve women’s economic security

In Australia, women’s workforce participation is at a record high, the gap between the retirement incomes of women and men is closing, and the gender pay gap is at a record lowof 14.0 per cent.

In November 2018, the Australian Government delivered its first Women’s Economic Security Statement, including measures worth around AUD151 million over five years to 2022-23.The Government recently announced its intention to deliver asecond Women’s Economic Security Statement, which will include as a key plank AUD75 million for a new Mid-Career Checkpoint initiative to support up to 40,000 Australians, particularly women, looking to return from time out of the workforce for caring responsibilities.

Fourth Action Plan (2019-2022) under the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children

On 9 August 2019, Australia agreed the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022. The Fourth Action Plan sets an ambitious agenda to eradicate violence against women and their children across five national priorities, and is supported by a record AUD340 million in Australian Government funding with a clear objective to prevent violence before it happens, as well as supporting those Australians affected by domestic violence.