23 Jun 2013

Australia to launch workplace discrimination inquiry

11:46 am on 23 June 2013

The Australian government will set up an inquiry into the treatment of women in the workplace.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard told Fairfax Media the inquiry would assess the problems women faced in the workforce and what action could be taken to correct any problems.

"It's very concerning that there are even anecdotal report that people, particularly women, feel discriminated against when they are caring for young children," she said.

The inquiry by the Australian Human Rights Commission will examine concerns women are demoted, sacked or have work hours altered to unfavourable times while on maternity leave or on their return to work.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions said one in three women left the workplace while pregnant or after giving birth, AAP reports.

A national survey on the prominence, nature and consequences of discrimination will be undertaken as part of the inquiry.

It will also take evidence from industry, unions, victims of discrimination and employers.