Media Release

ACL urges Attorney-General to protect the next Israel Folau in Religious Discrimination Bill submission

The Australian Christian Lobby has today urged Attorney-General Christian Porter to amend the Religious Discrimination Bill to protect the religious expression of employees.

ACL managing director Martyn Iles stated, “The bill includes a clause permitting large companies to restrict statements of religious belief by their staff, outside working hours, on the basis that the restriction is necessary for the company to avoid ‘unjustifiable financial hardship’.

“That simply gives permission for big corporates like Qantas to put pressure on groups like Rugby Australia to fire people like Israel Folau.

“An average employee is unlikely to resource a legal challenge against a large company which imposes limitations on their speech under the excuse of avoiding financial loss.

“In order for the bill to be useful in dealing with the religious freedom issues we encounter regularly in our community, this and other modest changes need to be made to the bill,” Mr Iles said.

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