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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 7 Hansard (6 August) . .

Page.. 2115..

Women—pregnancy discrimination

MRS JONES (Molonglo) (4.07): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) discrimination in the workplace in the ACT is reported by the Human Rights Commissioner;

(b) currently, all discrimination is reported as a single figure and not reported in categories; and

(c) according to the Pregnancy and Return to Work Review 2014 released by the National Sex Discrimination Commissioner:

(i) one in two women report discrimination in the workplace during pregnancy; and

(ii) the issue of pregnancy discrimination has a huge impact on the mental health of women in Canberra and causes 22 percent of those who have experienced discrimination to opt out of the workforce; and

(2) calls on the Government to:

(a) request the ACT Human Rights Commissioner collate the statistics on pregnancy discrimination;

(b) report on the number of cases of pregnancy discrimination;

(c) develop a strategy to address pregnancy discrimination; and

(d) ensure this is an appropriate policy in place to deal with the above issue in the ACT Public Service.

I am pleased to present the motion that appears on the notice paper in my name around pregnancy and parenting discrimination. As a mother of four young children pregnancy discrimination is an issue that is close to my heart and something that I have been painfully the subject of at times in my professional career. This has been a hidden discrimination, a taboo that many people have been too afraid to acknowledge, and even I, as confident as I am, have had trouble talking about it and addressing it.

I am pleased that light is starting to shine on this area, and I am happy to hold the torch. Last month the national Sex Discrimination Commissioner released the Pregnancy and Return to Work National Review—Report 2014, which clearly proves what I have long known—that there is a great deal of work to do to stop pregnancy discrimination.

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