Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Working towards equality and eliminating discrimination in sport

Working towards equality and eliminating discrimination in sport
March 4, 2015
Legal / Sport /

At a recent briefing for major sporting organisations hosted by Lander & Rogers, Kate Jenkins, Victoria's Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commissioner, stated "treating everyone in the same way doesn’t help you achieve equality."

Jenkins shared her insights on the practical and legal considerations for sporting organisations in Victoria, in meeting their obligations under the Equal Opportunity Act (EOA) and moving towards a more inclusive sporting community.

Jenkins emphasised that it is against the law to treat someone unfavourably because of a characteristic protected by law in sport. However, Jenkins added "sometimes you need to treat people differently to achieve equality."

The EOA includes three exceptions which allow sporting organisations to run single-sex competitions in particular circumstances:

1. Where the strength, stamina or physique of the competitors is relevant to the outcome;
2. If participating in a single-sex competition is necessary to progress to a national or international elite level competition; or
3. If running a single-sex competition will facilitate the participation of people of a particular sex in the sport, and this is a reasonable approach. 

Commenting on the exemptions, Amelia Lynch from Lander & Rogers' Sports Business Group stated "it is important that sporting organisations wishing to rely on an exemption under the EOA, have evidence to show that the discrimination will facilitate participation and is reasonable."

Patrizia Mercuri from Lander & Rogers' Workplace Relations & Safety team agreed, noting that organisations need to be mindful of their obligations under Federal anti-discrimination law as well.

Mercuri added "although there is significant overlap between state and federal anti-discrimination laws in so far as they apply to sport, it is important to make sure that organisations comply with both."

According to Jenkins, one area of complexity occurs in the context of how the law applies to transgender people.

Here Victoria's Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commissioner explained "there is a myth that transgender people will gain a competitive advantage by participating as their affirmed gender. These false assumptions can lead to discrimination, bullying and exclusion."

To help sporting organisations understand this particular area of the law, the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, created the Transgender in Sport Guidelines. The Guidelines are designed for use as a guide for sporting organisations that are unsure about their obligations regarding discrimination against transgender people and how to better comply with their legal obligations.

Mercuri concludes "as lawyers, we often deal with complaints once made.

"Whilst a complaint driven system can achieve results for individuals, it is good to see the work of the Commission in this space, which is aimed at education and facilitating cultural change and which, ultimately, will lead to greater inclusion in sport."

Kate Jenkins was appointed to her role as head of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) in 2013. Under her leadership, VEORHC has continued to work closely with the sporting community on discrimination and equality issues.

Lander & Rogers 
Lander & Rogers is a leading independent Australian law firm that acts as a principal advisor to many publicly listed and private Australian companies, Australian subsidiaries of global companies, as well as all levels of government.

Lander & Rogers' market-leading Sports Business Group comprises a team of lawyers who are widely recognised as experts in this field. Our clients include international, national and state sporting organisations, professional sporting clubs, government sport and recreation departments and agencies, sport and recreation facility managers and event managers.

Click here to contact Lander & Rogers via their entry in the Australasian Leisure Management Supplier Directory.

Image courtesy of Sports Without Borders.

3rd December 2014 - SPORTS LAWYERS SUGGEST ASADA LACKS EVIDENCE TO CONVICT ESSENDON PLAYERS

22nd August 2014 - EMPLOYERS FACE ‘DUCK TEST’

28th December 2012 - CINEMA CHAINS, IAN THORPE WIN HUMAN RIGHTS AWARDS


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

TJS Services

TJS Services is a leading national facility services provider. We deliver quality cleaning, maintenance, construction and facility management services to over 1,500 sites Australia wide.  Our…

read more

Hospitality / Retail / Venues

 
 

DEBITSUCCESS

Over the past 10 years Debitsuccess has been providing expert billing services to businesses across Australia. Debitsuccess is now the largest full service direct debit provider in Australasia,…

read more

Billing / Finance / Fitness / Golf / Recreation

 
 

GLADSTONE MRM

Gladstone Health & Leisure (Gladstone MRM Pty Ltd Australia) is a leading supplier of leisure management and fitness software and is endorsed by leading health and fitness professionals and…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology / Venues

 
 

MYZONE

Myzone is the industry’s leading wearable technology solution. Myzone’s wearable products show and reward effort when you work out. It displays accurate real-time heart rate, calories, and…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology / Wellness

 
 

HRMWEB

At easyemployer we've come up with a software solution that manages one of your most important, and often most costly, business resources - your staff. We are helping 100s of clients to…

read more

Finance / Fitness / Technology

 
 

RHINOPLAY

Rhinoplay offers playground equipment in Australia that is safe, durable, and most importantly fun! We specialise in creating unique indoor playgrounds for play centres and outdoor playgrounds for…

read more

Parks / Play / Surfaces

 
 

TouchCloud Global

Activating skyscapes for tourism, art, leisure and living TouchCloud Global (TCg) is a highly specialised international consultancy, broker and principal, devoted solely to activating and energising…

read more

Attractions / Consultants / Recreation / Safety / Tourism

 
 

Aquaspin

AQUASPIN™ - Aqua Cycling Aquaspin™’s sessions have been specially designed by our Master Trainer to be challenging yet fun group cycling sessions. Each session is tailored to…

read more

Aquatics / Fitness / Recreation / Wellness

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business