COVID-19 and discrimination law

Your rights and responsibilities

Discrimination is against the law in Tasmania in a number of areas, including:

  • Employment (paid and unpaid work)
  • Providing goods and services
  • Education (schools and universities)
  • Accommodation, including rentals

Your rights during the pandemic

During the pandemic, and various shutdowns, you have the right to live and work in a discrimination and harassment free environment.

You have the right not to be discriminated against because of your race, disability, family responsibilities and a number of other grounds.

Disability includes any medical condition, including coronavirus (COVID-19).

It is also against the law to treat someone less favourably because you think that they have coronavirus.

Examples of unlawful discrimination and prohibited conduct

  • Making racist comments towards people because of their race. Race includes a person’s skin colour, nationality, ethnic background and immigrant status.
  • Requiring employees to undergo a test for coronavirus, when they do not meet the current testing criteria (have returned from overseas travel, disembarked from a cruise ship or had close contact with a confirmed case).
  • Reducing someone’s hours or terminating someone’s employment because they have coronavirus, or are caring for a child or relative who is in isolation, or who has coronavirus.
  • Refusing to rent a property to someone because of their race, or because they have coronavirus.
  • Cancelling a rental contract/agreement because you think someone may get coronavirus because that person is a nurse, doctor or health care worker.
  • Refusing to serve a customer because of their race, or because they are wearing a mask.
  • Depending on medical advice, not allowing an employee to work from home who is older or is vulnerable to coronavirus because of their health or because they are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Your responsibilities during the pandemic

  • You have a responsibility to follow all the latest public health advice and laws related to managing the pandemic.
  • You have a responsibility not to discriminate, engage in offensive, humiliating, insulting, intimidating or ridiculing conduct, or incite hatred towards people because of their race or presumed disability (including if you think they have coronavirus).

If you have any questions or would like to lodge a complaint, please contact Equal Opportunity Tasmania on 6165 7515 or
1300 305 062
or e-mail:

This brochure will be updated regularly as the situation changes.

Equal Opportunity Tasmania

Phone: 1300 305 062 (in Tasmania) or (03) 6165 7515
Office: Level 1, 54 Victoria St, Hobart TAS 7000
Post: GPO Box 197, Hobart TAS 7001

Disclaimer: This information is only a guide and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice.