The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) welcomes the opportunity to provide a submission in response to the Religious Discrimination Bill 2021 and the associated Religious Discrimination (Consequential Amendment) Bill 2021 and Human Rights Legislation Amendment Bill 2021, as introduced into the Australian Parliament on 25 November 2021.

This submission is directed at the two Parliamentary Inquiries tasked with reviewing the Bills, the first by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights and the second by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee.

Ai Group supports the right to freedom of religion (including the right not to be religious) in the Australian community. Businesses manage a combination of multi-faith and non-religious workforces while striving to ensure their operations are viable, productive, competitive and harmonious. As a peak employer body, Ai Group’s submission is directed at matters concerning employers and employers.

For employers, the Bill is an improvement on the two earlier exposure drafts released in October 2019 and January 2020 respectively. We acknowledge that the Government has sought to address a range of concerns raised by numerous stakeholders, including Ai Group.

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