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It is unlawful to discriminate on the basis of marital or relationship status

It is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of his or her marital or relationship status.

This includes people who are:

  • single,
  • married,
  • in a de facto relationship,
  • separated,
  • divorced,
  • widowed, or
  • never married.

It also includes people in same-sex relationships.



What is relationship status discrimination?

Discrimination happens when a person is treated less favourably than another person in a similar situation because of their different marital or relationship status.

Furthermore, discrimination also happens when there is an unreasonable requirement that is the same for everyone but has an unfair impact on people of a particular relationship status.

Example: A company that employees people to work in remote locations only offers weekend leave to married staff so they can visit their families, but does not offer the same leave to workers who are single or in de facto relationships.

The law

Both state and federal laws protect people against discrimination based on their relationship status.

In Queensland, the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person because of their relationship status.

Relationship status means whether a person is:

  • single
  • married
  • married to another person, but living separately and apart from the other person
  • divorced
  • widowed
  • a defacto partner (including a same sex defacto partner)
  • a registered partner

How We Can Help

Our team of employment lawyers and industrial advocates are specialists in fighting claims for discrimination based on relationship status.

Workers can claim compensation or ask for an apology if they experience discrimination based on their relationship status.

Furthermore, reinstatement is also possible if the discrimination involves dismissal from employment.

We represent our clients in the Human Rights Commission, or any other relevant commission or tribunal.

We advise our clients of their best options moving forward to ensure they get the outcome they are looking for.

Make no mistake, we will not give up fighting until we have achieved justice for you. 

Please call our team today on 1800 437 825.

IMPORTANT:  Workers dismissed from employment because of their sexuality have just 21 days from the date of dismissal to make a claim.

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