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Willing to Work: National Inquiry into Employment Discrimination against Older Australians

The Law Council is pleased to provide this submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) in response to the Issues Paper ‘Employment discrimination against older Australians’ for the National Inquiry into Employment Discrimination against Older Australians (Issues Paper). 

2. As outlined in Attachment A, the Law Council is the peak body for the Australian legal profession. Through the law societies and bar associations of the Australian States and Territories, plus the Large Law Firm Group Ltd (the “constituent bodies” of the Law Council), the Law Council effectively speaks on behalf of around 60,000 

Australian lawyers. 

3. The Law Council is grateful for contributions from the Law Council’s National Human Rights Committee, the Law Institute of Victoria (the LIV), the Law Society of New South Wales (the LSNSW), and the Law Society of South Australia (the LSSA) to this submission. 

4. The Law Council notes that the purpose of the Issues Paper is to examine the barriers to employment for older people and make recommendations about practices, attitudes and Commonwealth laws that should be changed and actions that should be taken to address employment discrimination. 

5. This submission responds to Question 5 in the Issues Paper: 

(5) How adequately do existing laws protect older Australians from employment discrimination? How effective are the legal remedies for older workers who have experienced discrimination? How could existing laws be amended or supplemented? 

6. This submission refers to and draws on the following Law Council submissions made in response to similar inquires on age discrimination: 

• Australian Law Reform Commission Inquiry into Grey Areas – Age Barriers to 

Work in Commonwealth Laws Discussion Paper (available here); 

• Australian Law Reform Commission Inquiry into Grey Areas – Age Barriers to 

Work in Commonwealth Laws Issues Paper (available here); 

• Attorney-General’s Department’s Discussion Paper on Consolidation of Anti- Discrimination Laws (available here); and 

• and a supplementary submission in response to the Attorney-General’s Department’s Discussion Paper on Consolidation of Anti-Discrimination Laws (available here). 

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