Human Rights Commission finds widespread discrimination against working parents


The Australian Human Rights Commission has released its report Supporting Working Parents: Pregnancy and Return to Work National Review.

The Bar Association made a submission to the AHRC in February of this year and subsequently took steps to tackle the sorts of problems raised by the report, in particular the promulgation of its Best Practice Guidelines and the reservation of 10 places at a state of the art childcare facility in the CBD.

Key findings
  • 49% of mothers reported experiencing discrimination at some point during the pregnancy, parental leave or on return to work.

  • 18% of mothers indicated that they were made redundant/restructured/dismissed or that their contract was not renewed because of their pregnancy, their request for or taking of parental leave or because of their family responsibilities, breastfeeding/expressing on return to work.

  • 91% of mothers who experience discrimination to do not make a formal complaint.

  • 27% of fathers or partners reported experiencing discrimination when requesting or taking parental leave, or when they returned to work.

The AHRC made a number of recommendations, which can be viewed on pp.21-26 of the summarised version of the report, the [Community Guide]( Guide_2014.pdf "Community Guide").

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