Last Updated 17 August 2021

The following general exemptions, where discrimination is not unlawful, are set out in the Anti-discrimination Act 1991 (Qld) (Anti-discrimination Act):

  • welfare measures (s 104)
  • equal opportunity measures (s 105)
  • acts done in compliance with legislation (s 106)
  • compulsory retirement age (s 106A)
  • citizenship or visa requirements imposed under state government policies (s 106B)
  • accommodation for use in connection with work as sex worker (s 106C)
  • public health (s 107)
  • workplace health and safety (s 108)
  • religious bodies such as the ordination and training of priests (s 109)
  • charities (s 110)
  • sport (s 111)
  • legal incapacity (s 112).

Applications for exemptions

In addition, s 113 of the Anti-discrimination Act allows applications to be made to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) for an exemption that, if granted, is for a specified period of up to, but not more than, five years.

For example, exemptions have been granted for recruitment of employees on the basis of gender to work in specialist services such as youth wellbeing services or for gender specific roles in community services, domestic violence and corrective services. An exemption is renewable on application to QCAT for further periods of up to, but not more than, five years.

When an application for an exemption is made, QCAT must notify the Queensland Human Rights Commission (QHRC). The tribunal must have regard to any submission made by the QHRC. The Queensland Human Rights Commissioner can make submissions about the application process and about:

  • whether a public hearing should occur
  • identification of persons who might be affected by the application
  • whether the public should be consulted
  • how consultation should be conducted.

The tribunal can request that the QHRC inquire into the application and report back to QCAT. Additionally, QCAT can set specific conditions about how the exemption is to be applied or implemented.