Recent Developments in Sexual Harassment Law: Towards a New Model

Anita Mackay


Despite more than 20 years of sexual harassment being unlawful, it is still a persistent problem in Australian workplaces and one which is grossly under-reported. The law is this area should seek both to redress the harm
suffered by the victim and to reduce the power imbalance between males and females. The effectiveness of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 in achieving these objectives was reviewed by a Senate Committee in 2008.
One of its recommendations was for positive duties to be imposed on employers to eliminate sexual harassment. This article outlines how this recommendation might be implemented, and taken further, by shifting the
onus away from the victim and onto the more powerful players in any sexual harassment scenario – the harasser, the employer and the community in the relevant workplace.

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