NSW is getting rid of laws that allow employers to sack or refuse to hire pregnant women

Phtoto: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

The New South Wales government will end discrimination against women in the workplace because they are pregnant, abolish laws that allow employers to fire or refuse to hire women who knew they were pregnant when applying for a job.

The announcement follows a campaign by Greens MLC Dr Mehreen Faruqi to change the 40-year-old NSW Anti-Discrimination Act and a subsection which allowed a boss to fire a woman they’d recently employed on the grounds that she knew, or should have known, she was pregnant when she was hired.

NSW is the last state in Australia to end the discrimination.

NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman said the Act would be amended to protect pregnant job seekers.

“It’s unacceptable and out of step with modern standards for a woman to be overlooked for a role because she’s pregnant, or dismissed from a new position once it becomes apparent she’s carrying a child,” he said.

He said it was an important change for the financial and social independence of women.

“We understand the need for employers to plan and be prepared for staff who need to take maternity leave, but an agile workplace that accommodates family commitments is likely to attract and retain the brightest talent,” he said.

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