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Queensland government to scrap gendered language like ‘she’ from industrial relations laws

Queensland government scraps gender-based language like ‘maternity leave’ and ‘she’ as part of sweeping reform of industrial laws

  • The terms ‘she’ and ‘maternity leave’ will be replaced by QLD’s labor laws
  • They are subject to a series of changes to state laws after a five-year review
  • Other changes include the protection of workers who are victims of sexual harassment

The terms ‘she’ and ‘motherhood’ will be replaced in a series of amendments to Queensland’s labor relations laws proposed by the state government.

The changes were put forward on Thursday by Queensland’s Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace The courier post

It comes after Prime Minister Anastasia Palaszczuk and Ms Grace released a five-year independent inquiry into state workplace laws in February.

The survey resulted in 40 recommendations for Queensland’s industrial relations laws to “better reflect evolving community workplace standards.”

One of the changes is to remove gender-based language and replace it with gender-neutral terms.

Queensland Labor Relations Minister Grace Grace (pictured) proposed the changes to the state's labor laws on Thursday

Queensland Labor Relations Minister Grace Grace (pictured) proposed the changes to the state’s labor laws on Thursday

The word ‘she’ is deleted and replaced by the term ‘the employee’.

‘Maternity leave’ will also be deleted and changed to ‘birth-related leave’.

In another paragraph in the advice, ‘maternity leave’ has been interchanged with the term ‘pregnancy-related’.

The bill explained that these changes were made to “remove language implying a gender-specific distribution of parental leave.”

Other recommendations unrelated to the removal of gender-based language include strengthening the protection of workers who are victims of sexual harassment and changes in the pay of men and women.

There were also improvements in adoption and unpaid leave entitlements for a parent whose child was stillborn.

The changes replace the terms 'she' and 'maternity leave'.  There will also be improvements in adoption and unpaid leave for a parent whose child was stillborn

The changes replace the terms ‘she’ and ‘maternity leave’. There will also be improvements in adoption and unpaid leave for a parent whose child was stillborn

Queensland Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk (pictured) and Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace released the five-year assessment of the state's labor laws in February

Queensland Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk (pictured) and Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace released the five-year assessment of the state’s labor laws in February

Grace Grace, the Queensland Minister for Labor Relations, said: ‘The Palaszczuk government is doing everything it can to prevent sexual harassment and gender inequality.’

“That’s why I’m proud that the Palaszczuk government is introducing nation-leading reforms that will provide workers subjected to this type of abhorrent behavior with a variety of remedies available through the QIRC.”

Ms Grace noted that the government has taken action because a “lack of regulation” can “create safety risks” and affect the “financial security” of employees.

The five-year independent review included 40 recommendations, 36 of which were accepted by the government and four in principle.

A total of 31 amendments were tabled.

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