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Employer responsibilities

A workplace free from discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying is not just good for business, it is the law. Discrimination will cost you time and money, damage morale, reduce productivity and undermine your reputation.

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission works with you as an employer so you can meet your legal obligations and develop policies to prevent discrimination in your workplace.

Stages of employment

All stages of employment are covered by these laws, including:

The law

As an employer, your responsibilities are set out in the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 and federal anti-discrimination laws. Employers can be held legally responsible for workplace incidents of discrimination, bullying, sexual harassment and victimisation.

In addition, employers have responsibilities to provide fair and safe working conditions under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, as well as federal workplace laws like the Fair Work Act 2009 and the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999

Types of workplaces

All types of employers and employment relationships are covered under these laws including: 

  • full-time, part-time, casual and temporary employees
  • contract workers and commission agents
  • public and private sector employees
  • job applicants
  • apprentices
  • trainees and those on probation.

Some aspects of the law also apply to unpaid workers, volunteers and volunteer organisations.

Right Smart Employer Toolkits

The Commission has created a suite of free online tools to help employers understand and comply with the Equal Opportunity Act 2010.

Our self-audit tool allows you to assess your equal opportunity compliance and find out where you need to do more. Our downloadable templates and checklists will help you implement equal opportunity good practice and manage specific employment issues, including: 

  • cultural diversity in the workplace
  • parents and carers at work
  • sexual harassment
  • disability and work
  • pregnancy and work
  • mature-age workers
  • returning to work after injury or illness.

Working with employers

The Commission understands that every workplace is unique and employers sometimes need help to deal with specific issues. Contact us and we can help you with a wide range of workplace questions and concerns.

For employers, we also offer workshops, training and consultancy and there a range of other government, business, industry and non-government organisations that also offer workplace advice to employers.