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Explanation of Attributes Schedule

Schedule overview

1 Purpose

To define the attributes on which Discrimination is prohibited by the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991.

2 Scope

This schedule must be read in conjunction with the Prevention of Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment Procedure and is subordinate to it.

3 Schedule

The Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 prohibits Discrimination on the basis of the following attributes.

Attribute

Explanation

Sex

A person may be discriminated against because of their sex, for example if a man is refused treatment at a beauty salon because it is 'only for girls'.

Relationship status or parental status

The new ground of relationship status includes same sex defacto partners. The change ensures that all de facto partners have similar legal rights and obligations as married spouses. Parental status includes people being refused jobs because they have children.

Race

Racist attitudes and prejudices may exist in any community. Race has a broad meaning, and includes colour, descent or nationality or ethnic origin. Racism is the expression of attitudes or behaviour, based on an assumption of the superiority of one race or group of persons of one colour, ethnic origin or culture over another.

Discrimination may occur if a person or a group of people are treated less favourably than someone else because of their colour, descent or nationality or ethnic origin. This includes Discrimination on the basis of racial or cultural practices (including learning practices) or stereotypes and the exclusion of the knowledge or experience of Aboriginal peoples from discipline areas to which these are particularly relevant.

Religious belief or activity

This ground will change from religion to religious belief or activity, to provide protection for those who hold or don't hold a religious belief, and for those who engage or don't engage in religious activity. It will also ensure that people who have no religious belief are covered by the law.

Impairment

The law takes a very broad view of what impairment means. It includes a sight, speech or hearing condition, depression, the loss of a limb or if an aid is needed to help. It also covers conditions such as diabetes, a learning disability or any other condition. The Act provides protection whether a person was born with the impairment, whether it developed later or if someone assumes that it is there.

Lawful sexual activity

While the term 'lawful sexual activity' is already an attribute under the Act, its meaning has changed. The new meaning of lawful sexual activity refers to lawfully employed sex workers, whether or not self-employed.

Breastfeeding needs

Before the changes to the Act, Discrimination on the ground of breastfeeding was unlawful only in the area of goods and services. The change makes Discrimination unlawful across the full range of areas under the Act, in particular in the area of work. This change recognises the need for mothers who are breastfeeding to do so in most situations.

Family responsibilities

The ground of family responsibilities applies when a person needs to care for or support members of their immediate family. This ground will go beyond what's covered by the existing attributes of parental status and pregnancy. For example, it will be unlawful for an employer to treat someone less favourably because they need to look after their aged parents.

Gender identity

Gender identity is now included in the grounds covered by the Act. Gender identity is defined as a person who identifies as a member of the opposite sex by living or wanting to live as someone of that sex, or a person of indeterminate sex, who seeks to live as a member of a particular sex (see also changes to vilification provisions).

Sexuality

The ground of sexuality covers those who are heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bi-sexual. While in the past, people had to rely on the ground of lawful sexual activity to lodge a Complaint, the new ground more accurately reflects sexual preference rather than sexual activity. This change provides much clearer protection for the lesbian and gay community.

Age

Age Discrimination is being treated unfairly because of how old you are. It may be unlawful depending on the circumstances. Unlawful Discrimination on the basis of age can happen at work, school or college, in a shop or a restaurant, looking for accommodation, buying property, applying for credit, insurance or a loan, or dealing with tradespeople, businesses or state or local government.

4 References

Nil.

5 Schedule Information

Accountable Officer

Vice-Chancellor

Policy Type

University Procedure

Approved Date

5/7/2017

Effective Date

5/7/2017

Review Date

1/1/2019

Relevant Legislation

Related Policies

Code of Conduct Policy

Employee Complaints and Grievances Policy

Employee Equity and Diversity Policy

Harassment and Discrimination Complaint Resolution for Students Policy and Procedure

Public Interest Disclosure Policy and Procedure

Student Code of Conduct Policy

Related Procedures

Disciplinary Action for Misconduct or Serious Misconduct Procedure

Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment Complaints against Employees Procedure

Prevention of Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment Procedure

Student Complaint Management Procedure

Student General Misconduct Procedure

Termination of Employment Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites

Harassment and Diversity Contact Officers

Human Resources Website

Student Complaints and Appeals Management System

Student Equity website

Student General Misconduct Procedure Penalty Schedule

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Bullying

Bullying occurs where an individual or group of individuals repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards a person or group of persons (in this instance, a Student or group of Students), and that behaviour creates a risk to health and safety....moreBullying occurs where an individual or group of individuals repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards a person or group of persons (in this instance, a Student or group of Students), and that behaviour creates a risk to health and safety.

Complaint

An expression of dissatisfaction made in relation to an action, Decision or omission within the responsibility and control of the University, a University Member or a Student, where a response or resolution process is expected wherever possible....moreAn expression of dissatisfaction made in relation to an action, Decision or omission within the responsibility and control of the University, a University Member or a Student, where a response or resolution process is expected wherever possible.

Discrimination

Occurs when a person or a group of people are treated less favourably than another person or group because of race, colour, national or ethnic origin; gender or marital status; disability; religion or political beliefs; sexual preference; or some other central characteristic. Discrimination may occur when a person is denied the opportunity to participate freely and fully in normal day-...moreOccurs when a person or a group of people are treated less favourably than another person or group because of race, colour, national or ethnic origin; gender or marital status; disability; religion or political beliefs; sexual preference; or some other central characteristic. Discrimination may occur when a person is denied the opportunity to participate freely and fully in normal day-to-day activities, for example being harassed in the workplace or being denied entry to public places and other facilities.

Employee

A person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University....moreA person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University.

Formal Complaint

A Formal Complaint is a written Complaint lodged with the relevant delegate, which is dealt with through a formal process of the University. It may lead to a formal investigation of allegations....moreA Formal Complaint is a written Complaint lodged with the relevant delegate, which is dealt with through a formal process of the University. It may lead to a formal investigation of allegations.

Harassment

Occurs when a person is made to feel intimidated, insulted or humiliated because of their race, colour, national or ethnic origin; sex; disability; sexual preference; or some other characteristic specified under anti-discrimination or human rights legislation. Harassment may include behaviour, comments or images which a reasonable person would consider to be offensive, humiliating, int...moreOccurs when a person is made to feel intimidated, insulted or humiliated because of their race, colour, national or ethnic origin; sex; disability; sexual preference; or some other characteristic specified under anti-discrimination or human rights legislation. Harassment may include behaviour, comments or images which a reasonable person would consider to be offensive, humiliating, intimidating or threatening.

Informal Complaint

A Complaint expressed either verbally or in writing to a relevant delegate, which is not dealt with through a formal process of the University. It may involve a discussion with relevant parties in order to receive information and explore options on resolving the matter. It does not involve a formal investigation or the determination of evidence....moreA Complaint expressed either verbally or in writing to a relevant delegate, which is not dealt with through a formal process of the University. It may involve a discussion with relevant parties in order to receive information and explore options on resolving the matter. It does not involve a formal investigation or the determination of evidence.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment is any unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviour which makes a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. Sexual Harassment can take many different forms. It can be obvious or indirect, physical or verbal, repeated or one-off, and perpetrated by males and females against people of the same or opposite sex. Sexual Harassment may include: staring or leering; unnecessary fa...moreSexual Harassment is any unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviour which makes a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. Sexual Harassment can take many different forms. It can be obvious or indirect, physical or verbal, repeated or one-off, and perpetrated by males and females against people of the same or opposite sex.Sexual Harassment may include:staring or leering;unnecessary familiarity, such as deliberately brushing up against a person, or unwelcome touching;suggestive comments or jokes;insults or taunts of a sexual nature;intrusive questions or statements about a person's private life;displaying posters, magazines or screen-savers of a sexual nature;sending sexually explicit emails or text messages;inappropriate advances on social networking sites;accessing sexually explicit internet sites;requests for sex or repeated unwanted requests to go out on dates;behaviour that may also be considered to be an offence under criminal law, such as physical assault, indecent exposure, sexual assault, stalking or obscene communications.Sexual Harassment is not interaction, flirtation or friendship which is mutual or consensual.

Student

A person who has been Admitted or Enrolled at the University, but has not yet graduated from their Academic Program....moreA person who has been Admitted or Enrolled at the University, but has not yet graduated from their Academic Program.

University

The term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland....moreThe term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland.

Workplace Bullying and Harassment

Workplace Bullying and Harassment, under the Fair Work Act 2009, occurs where an individual or group of individuals repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards an Employee or group of Employees at work, and that behaviour creates a risk to health and safety. Within this definition: Repeated Behaviour refers to the persistent nature of the behaviour and can range in behaviours over time. Unreason...moreWorkplace Bullying and Harassment, under the Fair Work Act 2009, occurs where an individual or group of individuals repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards an Employee or group of Employees at work, and that behaviour creates a risk to health and safety. Within this definition:Repeated Behaviour refers to the persistent nature of the behaviour and can range in behaviours over time.Unreasonable Behaviour is behaviour that a reasonable person, having regard to the circumstances, may see as unreasonable. This may include but is not limited to behaviour that is victimising, humiliating, intimidating or threatening.A Risk to Health and Safety means the possibility of danger to health and safety, and is not confined to actual danger to health and safety

Definitions that relate to this schedule only

Harassment and Diversity Contact Officer

University Employee who has volunteered to provide an initial point of contact for Employees and Students who have inquiries about any form of Workplace Bullying and Harassment, Discrimination or Harassment. The Harassment and Diversity Contact Officers are appointed by the Vice-Chancellor for a term of three years. The Harassment and Diversity Contact Officer provides information and support (not counselling) about the resolution options available to Employees and Students.

Harassment under the Disability Discrimination Act

The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 prohibits Harassment and victimisation of Students and Employees with disabilities, on the basis of disability, including;

(a) The need for individual strategies and adjustments for a Student; and (b) The need to use such supports as a wheelchair, hearing aid, breathing support, an interpreter, a reader, an assistant or carer or a guide or hearing dog, or other appropriately trained animal.

The Act also prohibits Harassment and victimisation of the associates of Students and Employees with disabilities, on the basis of disability.

Keywords

Equal opportunity, Discrimination, Harassment, prevention, attributes

Record No

15/2953PL

Failure to comply with this Policy or Policy Instrument may be considered as misconduct and the provisions of the relevant Policy or Procedure applied.

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