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Abstract from

Indirect Discrimination and the Worker-Carer: It's just not working

K Lee Adams is a Lecturer in the School of Law, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria.

Although initially Australia saw some high-profile successes in anti-discrimination cases for workers with family responsibilities, recent trends in appellate decisions such as Schou suggest that indirect discrimi­nation concepts do not succeed for workers with family respon­sibilities. The limitations of an individual complaint model to address systemic disadvantage such as that experienced by ‘worker-carers’ is simply in too much tension with entrenched expectations sur­roun­ding the contract of employment and the ‘ideal’ or ‘unencum­bered’ worker. A re-imagining of the employment relation­ship and the role of the employer will be necessary to achieve substantive equality for workers with family responsibilities.

(2005) Volume 23 No 3 Law in Context 18

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