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New legal support for Aboriginal people experiencing workplace mistreatment in NSW

Giovanni Torre -
:

The Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) has launched its Employment Law Service, the first specialist sexual harassment and discrimination legal service in New South Wales for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers and run by an Aboriginal community-controlled organisation.

The ALS Employment Law Service, launched this week, offers free and confidential legal support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people employed in any industry or profession in NSW.

The ALS NSW/ACT said that while the new service has a particular focus on sexual harassment and discrimination, the service also provides support in relation to other kinds of workplace mistreatment like underpayment, unjust termination, and other rights at work.

ALS chairperson Jason Allan said "everyone should be safe and respected at work, but sadly that’s not always the case".

"That anyone is subjected to mistreatment at work is unacceptable, but survey data shows* that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience workplace discrimination and sexual harassment at almost double the rate of non-Indigenous workers. They can now contact the ALS for culturally appropriate legal support,” he said.

The service was established with two years of funding from the NSW government under the NLAP agreement, and in response to the national Respect@Work report into sexual harassment in Australian workplaces.

In addition to offering legal support for workers, the ALS will provide community education to build awareness of what workplace sexual harassment and discrimination look like and where to get help.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees in New South Wales who believe they are being mistreated at work are encouraged to contact the ALS Employment Law Service on 1800 765 767 (free call) between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, or via email at [email protected].

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