Some people may find it difficult to work on Saturdays and Sundays. This can be because they have family responsibilities, responsibilities to care for others or because their religious belief requires them to not work on certain days.
Example: An employee worked both weekday and weekend shifts. When family responsibilities increased, the employee asked to work fewer weekend shifts. The employee was dismissed. This could be discrimination.
Example: A Jewish employee observes Shabbat, a day of rest that lasts from sunset on Friday to nightfall on Saturday. The employee asks not to be allocated shifts on Saturdays during the day.
It is unlawful for employers to directly discriminate against an employee on the basis of his or her family responsibilities. There are some limited exemptions.
Discrimination on the basis of religion as such is not unlawful under federal anti-discrimination law. However, some faiths have been found to be covered by the Racial Discrimination Act, and so discrimination in employment against people of these faiths may be against the law. The Commission may also investigate complaints of discrimination in employment on the basis of religion and, where appropriate, try to resolve them by conciliation.
Discrimination related to religion, religious conviction, religious belief or religious activity is unlawful under the laws of the ACT, Northern Territory, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.