Legislation and cultural diversity
The aim of the government is to ensure that every employer, employee and client can live and work safely in a socially diverse environment, free from discrimination. This means that everyone, regardless of race, religious belief, age, gender and so on, is given the same opportunities and advantages.
You need to be aware of and comply with your legislative obligations when working with clients and colleagues and when recruiting, employing and training new staff.
Anti-Discrimination and Equal Employment Opportunity
Australians are committed by legislation to eliminate racial discrimination under the (Cwlth) Racial Discrimination Act 1975
Queenslanders also have state legislation which we must abide by ─ the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991.
Queensland Communities and disabilities workers must comply with federal legislation and with Queensland legislation. Other states may have different legislation. Each agency has its own policies and procedures adapted from legislation.
People coming from different cultures and from different countries need to learn about the Australian family law system. This can take time and may require agency support, assistance, consultation and mediation.
Health and safety practices
Health and safety practices of other countries may vary widely, and employees who have not worked in Australia may be unaware of the requirements. Health and safety should be paramount in any organisation; regardless of the position a person may hold, it is essential that they undertake some form of training in regard to occupational health and safety and, where necessary, manual handling.
Depending on the person’s ability to understand English, both written and spoken, a translator or diagrams may prove to be beneficial.
Multilingual safety notices may be required for public areas. For example, assistance may be required to complete Hazard Report and Incident Report forms.
Balancing cultural needs: How might you balance the needs of a specific cultural group with the needs of others?
Family law support: What Queensland agencies can assist people from other cultures in relation to Australian family laws?
Anti-discrimination and EEO: Anti-discrimination, EEO and working with people with disabilities
Your clients needs
When working in a socially and culturally diverse environment it is important to take the specific needs of clients into account.
Such services should include safe access for persons with a disability, and provision of culturally sensitive print material including posters, signs and brochures in a number of languages.
Ask yourself, "Are we doing enough to meet our clients’ needs?"