By Kelly Godfrey
On 7 May 2020, the ACT Legislative Assembly passed the Human Rights (Workers Rights) Amendment Act 2020 (ACT) (Right to Work Amendments). The Right to Work Amendments insert a new provision into the Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT) that recognises all individuals’ right to work.
The Right to Work Amendments commenced on 14 May 2020. In enacting these Right to Work Amendments, the ACT is the first among all Australian states and territories to implement such rights.
The Right to Work Amendments include the right to:
- work, including the right to freely choose an occupation or profession;
- the enjoyment of just and favourable conditions of work;
- the enjoyment of these rights without discrimination;
- form or join a work-related organisation; and
- the protection from acts of anti-union discrimination.
The new Right to Work Amendments mean that in the ACT:
- the ACT Government and its agencies need to consider these rights when drafting and making legislation and policies; and
- the ACT’s public authorities must apply and interpret legislation consistent with the Right to Work Amendments.