A quick guide to Australian discrimination laws

by Australian Human Rights Commission | Guide/Tool
A quick guide to Australia's Federal, State and Territory discrimination laws

Guide to discrimination laws.


There are federal, state and territory laws in Australia to protect people from discrimination and harassment.

The Australian Human Rights Commission has statutory responsibilities under the Age Discrimination Act 2004, Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986, Disability Discrimination Act 1992, Racial Discrimination Act 1975, and the Sex Discrimination Act 1984.

In addition to the federal legislation, each state and territory in Australia has equal opportunity and anti-discrimination agencies, with statutory responsibilities.

Commonwealth laws and the state/territory laws generally overlap.

However, the laws apply in different ways and employers must comply with all legislation.

Employers also need to check the exemptions and exceptions in Commonwealth and state or territory legislation.

An exemption or exception under one Act does not mean employers are exempt under another Act.