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Scott Morrison urged to do more on sexual harassment laws

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Scott Morrison remains under pressure to take stronger action against sexual harassment in the workplace after finally responding to a landmark report.

The Prime Minister has proposed common sense reforms in response to the Respect at work report.

It will soon be easier to fire sexual harassers, including federal politicians and judges.

But he has come under fire for refusing to adopt some of the key recommendations, including granting additional investigative powers to a national watchdog.

Mr. Morrison was also reluctant to introduce a positive obligation to protect workers from sexual harassment.

Gender Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins, who wrote the report, has vowed to continue pushing for critical change.

“Right now, sexual harassment laws only come to life if a victim complains. This leaves a huge burden on the people who have been harassed, ”she told Nine on Friday.

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“This has to change. The government has said it will continue to assess this and I will continue to discuss it with them.

The Prime Minister has also drawn criticism from employer groups about some of the measures taken.

They fear that the deadline for filing a complaint for sexual harassment at work will be increased from six months to two years.

Labor Senator Kristina Keneally said that while some of the proposed changes were welcome, the government needed a concrete plan, not just an announcement.

“There is no legislation, there is no attached funding, there is no reporting mechanism,” she said.

“The devil here is in the details and what we see in 24 hours is the Prime Minister’s claim that he accepted all of the recommendations has been thwarted.”

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Mr. Morrison confirmed that all states and territories have agreed to make their own responses to the report by the end of June.

The national cabinet will then hold a face-to-face meeting in Darwin in July to review all state and federal spending programs focused on women’s economic security, with a view to labor market participation and the pay gap. between the sexes.

Leaders will then seek to develop a national women’s economic security plan similar to an existing program focused on ending domestic violence.

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A national summit on women’s safety will also be held in July, the location of which will be announced.

Labor is challenging the Prime Minister to get rid of disgraced Queensland MP Andrew Laming if he takes harassment seriously.

Dr Laming is on paid leave for empathy training after being accused of harassing two voters and taking a picture of a woman as she bent over.

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He resigns in the next election, but Mr. Morrison has resisted calls to dump him because it would plunge the Coalition into a minority government.

Senator Keneally said Mr Morrison could not be taken seriously as long as Dr Laming remained in government.

Labor is also calling on the government to introduce 10 days of paid domestic violence leave.

Australian Council of Trade Unions chairperson Michele O’Neil said the answer did not go far enough.

“It’s a road map with big potholes, and unfortunately the victims of sexual harassment – many women and some men – are going to fall through these holes,” she told UKTN.

-AAP

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