Gender Equality

No benefits afforded to non-traditional families such as same sex couples and adopted children


All individuals have a right to be treated equally and to be free from discrimination. This applies both in their personal lives and in the workplace. However, some non-traditional families are currently excluded from accessing services and employment benefits. A non-traditional family includes same-sex parents, single parents, parents of adopted children, or children born through surrogacy.


Employers must provide non-traditional families with the same rights and benefits as other families. By not recognizing the rights of employees in same-sex relationships, or those who have children by other means, they may be instilling a culture of discrimination and unfair treatment. This inequality among employees could have greater repercussions for both the business, at an organizational level, and the broader community.


Employers should review their current policies to ensure they are inclusive and considerate of the needs of different family structures. Relevant policies to consider include: Parental Leave, Worker’s Compensation, Social Security, Health Care, and Superannuation. It is important that these services are accessible to all employees to ensure their effective implementation and to prevent discrimination.

Relevant Human Rights Instruments

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966, Article 26
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966, Article 2(2)
Convention of the Rights of the Child, 1989
Convention concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation, 1958 (No. 111)



SDG 5.1

Employers who promote equality among employees assist in achieving SDG 5.1: End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.