Legal issues relating to the workplace

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Most businesses that are successful in the long term:
• Abide by the range of laws affecting the employment contract
• Adopt ethical workplace practices.

Occupational health and safety.
Eachyear in Australia approximately 600 people are killed at work. On top of this, more than 650 000 workers suffer some from of workplace caused injury or disease. A recent safety poster carried thewarning, 'WORK IS A HEALTH HAZARD'. This is only too true.

In New South Wales, the Occupational Health and safety (OH&S) Act 2000 outlines the legal requirement for employers and employees .Employers must ensure their workplace is safe and that machinery is regularly inspected and maintained. They must also provide protective clothing and adequate training. Committees have been set up in mostworkplaces to enforce3 to OH&S rules.

ComFACT!
About 5.2 million workdays are lost each year due to workplace- caused injury or disease. In recent yeas, the total cost of Australia's workplaceinjuries has been over $6 billion

Anti-discrimination
For many years, discrimination in the workplace was widespread. Women found it difficult to gain promotion. They were often limited to clericalor sales assistant jobs. Pay rates for females have been, and still are , bellow the pay rates for males in comparable occupations. Older employees or married women were sometimes dismissed or forcedto retire to be replaced by younger, lower-paid workers . Many migrants and Aborigines found it difficult to secure permanent employment.

Beginning is the late 1970s, several federal and statelaws were passed aimed at ending these kinds of discrimination. Two of the most important pieces of legislation in this area are:
1. Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW). This Act makes it in lawful todiscriminate, against an employee on the basis of ages, race, sex. Marital status, religious belief, intellectual or physical disabilities, or sexual orientation.
2. Affirmative Action ( Equal...
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