DISCRIMINATION & HARASSMENT POLICY v1.0
(last updated 07.03.2021)
Most instances of discrimination or harassment constitute unlawful behaviour. Discrimination and harassment will not be tolerated by this Association, wherever and whenever it takes place, including non-Association events.
Members who engage in discrimination or harassment behaviours will be subject to disciplinary action.
If any member of the Association believes they have been discriminated against or harassed, please inform a Committee member for further action.
The Association strongly recommends individuals subjected to criminal acts committed by another member, for example, being subjected to physical or sexual assault, seek investigation and justice with the relevant authorities (e.g. WA Police, WA Equal Opportunity Commission, Australian Human RIghts Commission).
Harassment includes “any unwelcome behaviour that offends, humiliates or intimidates a person … occurs when someone is subjected to prohibited behaviour under anti-discrimination legislation … [and/or] can involve physical conduct, verbal conduct or visual conduct e.g. posters, email or SMS messages.” (INC Guide, Aug 2019).
Sexual harassment is “unwelcome sexual conduct which makes a person feel offended, humiliated and/or intimidated where that reaction is reasonable in the circumstances” … “If the interaction is consensual, welcome, and reciprocated, it is not sexual harassment” – Human RIghts and Equal Opportunity Commission, Oct 2008.
The Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act 1984 makes sexual harassment unlawful.
Sexual harassment involves three essential elements:
- the behaviour is unwelcome – i.e. was not solicited or invited by the recipient, and is based on how the behaviour was perceived and experienced by the recipient rather than the intention behind it;
- It is of a sexual nature; and
- Whether a reasonable person would anticipate that behaviour would have an offensive, humiliating, and/or intimidating effect on the recipient.
Sexual harassment does not have to be repeated or continuous. It can be a one-off incident. Sexual harassment can be experienced by anyone and does not discriminate.
Sexual harassment can take various forms. It can involve conduct such as:
- unwelcome touching, hugging, massaging or kissing;
- staring or leering at parts of a person’s body;
- suggestive comments or jokes;
- sexually explicit pictures, emails or private messages;
- unwanted invitations to go out on dates or requests for sex;
- intrusive questions about an individual’s private life or body;
- deliberately brushing up against someone;
- insults or taunts of a sexual nature;
- inappropriate advances on social networking sites;
- Touching or fiddling with a person’s clothing including lifting up skirts or shirts, flicking bra straps, or putting hands in a person’s pockets;
- behaviour which would also be an offense under the criminal law, such as physical assault, indecent exposure, sexual assault, stalking, or obscene communications.
THE COMMITTEE, ON BEHALF OF THE ASSOCIATION, HAS A RESPONSIBILITY TO:
- Create and maintain an environment which is free from harassment and where all members are treated with dignity, courtesy and respect;
- Ensure that all members know their rights and responsibilities by distributing this Harassment & Discrimination Policy to all members;
- Provide an effective procedure for complaints based on the principles of natural justice;
- Treat all complaints in a sensitive, fair, timely, and confidential manner;
- Encourage the reporting of behaviour which breaches the Harassment and Discrimination policy;
- Monitor and promote appropriate standards of conduct at all times; and
- Model appropriate behaviour themselves.
Racial harassment includes but is not limited to “racially-based threats, taunts, abuse or insults that disadvantage another person … for example, racist jokes, racist graffiti and name-calling” (INC Guide, Aug 2019).
Discrimination occurs when “a person is given less favourable treatment than someone else” (INC Guide, Aug 2019). Associations are subject to anti-discrimination legislation. It is unlawful to discriminate against a person based on the grounds stated in the State and Commonwealth laws listed below. The Association may not directly or indirectly discriminate on these grounds when considering a person’s application for membership, the terms and conditions on which the Association is prepared to admit that person to membership, the general terms and conditions of members, member access to benefits and facilities, or providing goods, services and facilities to the general public.
Legislation on Discrimination
- Unlawful to discriminate against a person on the ground of race, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin (Racial Discrimination Act, 1975).
- Unlawful to discriminate against a person on the ground of disability (Disability Discrimination Act, 1992).
- Unlawful to discriminate against a person on the grounds of sex, marital or relationship status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy or potential pregnancy, breastfeeding or family responsibilities (in some circumstances) (Sex Discrimination Act, 1984).
- Unlawful to discriminate against a person on the ground of age (Age Discrimination Act, 2004).
- Unlawful to discriminate against a person on grounds including race, sex, age, pregnancy, impairment, marital status, gender history, sexual orientation, religious or political conviction, family responsibility or family status (Equal Opportunity Act, 1984, WA).