Christian Porter in The Australian:
Most Australians perhaps think that businesses have gone, large businesses in particular, a little bit too far in telling them how to live their lives and what they can and can’t say in their spare time as part of their employment contract — and particularly for people who would otherwise be prevented from making what aren’t much more than statements of scripture or doctrine or belief on Facebook.
This is the context of the proposed draft religious discrimination bill. What is causing excitement is:
… the so-called Folau clause in the draft bill, which prevents companies with annual turnovers of at least $50 million from sacking employees for sharing controversial religious views outside work unless they can prove it was necessary to avoid undesirable financial hardship.
The government’s position here is entirely sensible. The claim being that organisations have to manage their reputations/brand image etc. and that this requires them to restrain what their employees can and cannot do. That sounds very plausible. Yet now the government is saying, “Okay – prove it” and employer groups are jumping up and down.
The Australian Industry Group has previously said the provision was “unfair and unworkable” and would create significant confusion about which categories of out-of-hours conduct employers can legitimately address in order to manage their business.
Yes. Well. Hard to feel any sympathy. When common sense solutions are excluded by pig-headedness then solutions are imposed. This whole dobbing-you-into-your-employer-because-we-don’t-like-what-you-say-or-think has gone too far.