The Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person because of their parental status.
Parental status means whether or not a person is a parent. It includes the status of not having children.
The Act provides a definition of parent which, in addition to a mother and father, includes:
- step-parent; and
- adoptive parent; and
- foster parent; and
- Brochure on relationship status, parental status and family responsibilities;
- Case studies on parental status.
Parental status discrimination examples
- A woman with children is not considered for a promotion to manager because the employer thinks she will miss too much work caring for her kids.
- A man requested leave at short notice to take his sick daughter to hospital because of a medical emergency. This was refused by his manager and the man resigned on the spot in anger at the decision. A few days later the man asked to be re-employed but this was refused.
- A woman who was not a parent applied for the position of Director of a childcare centre - a position for which she was well qualified. The childcare centre board advised her that she was unsuccessful, because they believed that the Director needed to have first hand experience as a parent.
Information and enquiry service
Individuals, employers and business operators can access the Commission's statewide telephone information and enquiry service.
Making a complaint
Make a complaint to the Commission on the Complaint Form about parental status discrimination.
The complaint must be lodged with the Commission within 1 year of the discrimination happening.
The Commission's service is free.