24 August 2022
The Labor Party has published the Jobs + Skills Summit Issues Paper, and LGBTQIA+ people have been entirely left out despite listing many groups of workers who face discrimination. Queer and gender diverse people experience higher rates of unemployment and workplace discrimination, and must be included in discussions on these issues.
Quotes attributable to Member for Brisbane and Australian Greens LGBTQIA+ Spokesperson, Stephen Bates MP:
“Choosing to leave LGBTQIA+ people out of the Jobs and Skills Summit Issues Paper highlights the Government’s lack of commitment to our community and to all workers rights.”
“This is yet another example of politicians waving rainbow flags when it’s politically expedient while failing to improve our communities’ working conditions.”
“Our communities are already far more likely to face discrimination in employment and our daily lives. Trans people are three times more likely to be unemployed than the national average.
“The Sex Discrimination Act still provides special exemptions allowing religious organisations and workplaces to discriminate against LGBTQIA+ people. So long as a teacher can be fired from their workplace because of their sexuality, workers are not protected.”
“Now is the perfect time to strengthen the Fair Work Act to explicitly protect against discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sex characteristics, ensuring trans, intersex and gender diverse people are afforded the same protection as cisgendered people.”
“Leaving LGBTQIA+ people out of this paper is a conscious effort by the Albanese Government to erase queer and gender diverse people from this conversation.”
“This paves the way for the Albanese Government's Religious Discrimination Bill to target LGBTQIA+ people. Without explicit protection in employment and public spaces, our community are at risk of having further discrimination against us enshrined into law.
“We have already seen the Albanese Government vote down a Greens amendment to establish an LGBTQIA+ Human Rights Commissioner.”
“We cannot hope to address a skills shortage and economic inequality while entire communities do not feel safe in the workplace.”
“The Jobs and Skills Summit is a perfect chance to strengthen protections for LGBTQIA+ workers. We cannot be left out of the conversation.”
“The Government has an opportunity to show its commitment to workers rights and ending discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people. This opportunity should not be wasted.” Said Mr. Bates.
Nathan Hunter | 0459 370 963