QLD

A Double Standard

The Bill sets two standards: one for religious organisations, and one for all other organisations.

Other organisations do not face the same levels of restriction when it comes to discrimination around employment.  

The Bill says that (secular) employers can discriminate on any basis if it is a genuine occupational requirement. The example given is a political party requiring an employee to be a member of that party for them to work as an advisor.  

28 Genuine occupational requirements generally

  1. A person may discriminate against a person in relation to a position if the discrimination—
    1. is based on a genuine occupational requirement for the position: and
    2. is reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances

        Examples of genuine occupational requirements for a position

    • using membership of a particular political party as a criterion for a position as an adviser to a political party or a worker in the office of a member of Parliament
    • preferencing people on the basis of age for a peer support position in a service for children and young people

This means that employers can discriminate on any basis if it is a genuine occupational requirement and is reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances.

Religious organisations, on the other hand, are restricted to clause 29, which allows them only to discriminate on the basis of religious belief and religious activity if holding that belief or participating in that activity is a genuine occupational requirement.

The effect is that religious bodies have a much narrower and more difficult hoop to jump through than other employers. By singling out religion in this way, the drafters have indicated that they do not understand the nature of religious belief and the fact that other attributes protected in the Bill are relevant to religious employers and the genuine occupational requirements of roles in religious bodies.

The overall effect of this differential treatment of religious organisations is that freedom of religious belief and activity is subordinated to other newly invented sexuality, identity and non-discrimination rights, making religious belief and activity a “second class citizen” of rights.

This Bill will have serious consequences for religious organisations and schools in Queensland.

NOW is the time to contact your MP and tell them to FIX THIS BILL and protect religious freedoms.

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Contact Your MP is an initiative of Freedom for Faith.