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August 09, 2020, 03:31:28 pm

Author Topic: Legal help please  (Read 193 times)

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Legal help please
« on: August 12, 2019, 01:14:19 pm »
Hi, I was wondering, is anyone able to read what I have so far for my legal studies assessment and suggest tips on how to structure each question because I am lost with it and don’t know how much to write for each question and don’t know if I’m approaching it right. Here are the questions and what I’ve done so far:

Question One: Examine the issues for women in the Australian workplace (5 marks)

In contemporary Australia, although it is a basic right for women to feel safe in their workplace, many women continue to experience discrimination, sexual harassment and social security as an everyday reality. While poverty can be an experience for both men and women, women continue to be disproportionately affected by financial disadvantage as they struggle to become financially independent particularly after a separation or divorce.  Studies have shown that over the long term, women fare far worse financially than men after a divorce. In addition, approximately 90% of lone parent families are headed by women. Furthermore, the responsibilities of child care, disabled family members or grandparents present significant barriers to entering the workforce. While financial support from the government is therefore vital, most people are dependent on welfare as their main source of income nevertheless live on or below the poverty line. Discrimination has also resulted from this as employers have the tendency to discriminate those who are pregnant or otherwise because of gender differences, which led to explaining the glass ceiling that is an impediment for women towards career progress. As women are viewed as family bearers and inferior, they are promoted to less opportunities of equal pay. Due to discrimination and social media as an increasing platform for employers or employees to tamper with, women have also been the subject of sexual jokes and sending of pornographic or spamming messages, which leads to the issue of sexual assault.

Question Two: Describe the legal and non-legal responses to women in the workplace (10 marks)

Question Three: Evaluate the effectiveness of the legal and non-legal responses in achieving justice for women in the Australian workforce (15 marks)
In the Australian workplace, issues of discrimination, sexual assault and equal opportunities are prevalent for women. Traditionally, however, in the past, the law had mainly recognised men and been slow to recognise women’s rights. As a consequence, not all women had received equal recognition under the law due to perceived gender differences. To improve justice for all women in the workplace, there have been legal and non-legal mechanisms to address these issues through anti-discrimination legislation, lobby groups and media agenda settings. These measures have been to a certain extent effective as sex discrimination, pay equity and social security; childcare is still prevalent today.

To begin with, and federal legislation have provided far-reaching protection to women in the workplace who experience any form of discrimination and sexual harassment. Young women in early employment are especially vulnerable to sexual harassment and new technologies, such as mobile phones with email and social networking websites, are adding another dimension to sexual harassment. This is supported by the Poniatowska v Hickinbotham [2009] FCA case, which involved a building consultant who experienced a number of sexual harassment incidents such as sexual jokes from the Chairman who said she had “two good assets”, receiving a spam of pornographic MMM messages and telephone invitations for sex until she was unfairly dismissed. This case was an important milestone as it showed that women ought to have their complaints of harassment taken seriously and have the right to appropriately investigate and handle such complaints. Employers need to have policies in place which specify workplace conduct and must discipline employees that engage in any inappropriate conduct that makes the victim of abuse uncomfortable. Due to the case, for women to have procedural fairness and be acknowledged according to the rule of law especially if they make a complaint has raised awareness of gender vulnerability and so the Sex Discrimination Act 1974 (Cth) has now addressed it more explicitly and makes sex discrimination based on attributes such as their sex, marital status, pregnancy or potential pregnancy, breastfeeding or family responsibilities unlawful. The provisions of the Act regarding sexual harassment have been effective in that the only requirement is to show that the unacceptable behaviour took place. Complaints of sexual harassment remain high but this is attributed to greater awareness of women's rights. However, the effectiveness of this anti-discrimination legislation is limited by the reluctance to exercise those rights especially for those who fear dismissal, fail to recognise the rights or who lack any knowledge at all.