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Independent Review into Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces

Sex Discrimination
Parliament House Canberra

The Australian Human Rights Commission launched the Set the Standard: Report on the Independent Review into Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces on 30 November 2021.

Recommendation 1: Statement of Acknowledgment

On 8 February 2022, a joint Statement of Acknowledgment was delivered in the Australian Parliament. This statement, delivered on behalf of the Parliamentary Cross-Party Leadership Taskforce, acknowledged the unacceptable history of workplace bullying, sexual harassment and sexual assault in Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces.

This statement was Recommendation 1 of the Set the Standard Report. 

Read the statement in full here.  (80.8 KB)


Establishment of the Set the Standard Review

On 5 March 2021, the Independent Review into Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces (Review) was established by the Australian Government, with support from the Opposition and crossbench. Conducted by the Australian Human Rights Commission and led by the Sex Discrimination Commission, the Review's Terms of Reference asked it to make recommendations to ensure that Commonwealth parliamentary workplaces are safe and respectful and that the nation's Parliament reflects best practice in the prevention and handling of bullying, sexual harassment and sexual assault.  

The Commission did not investigate nor making findings about individual allegations of bullying, sexual harassment or sexual assault as part of the Review.

Expert and organisational submissions are now available on the Commission website.


The Commission acknowledges that discussing bullying, sexual harassment and sexual assault can cause distress and discomfort. If you experience distress or discomfort, please refer to the national support services that provide counselling and others forms of support available at the bottom of this page.


The Commission, in partnership with Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia, has developed a trauma-informed guide to support people who would like to share experiences of bullying, sexual harassment and sexual assault with the Review. The guide provides information on what people should consider in participating and the potential impacts of such participation. You can download the guide below.

The Review is being conducted under UNSW Human Research Ethics Committee approval (HC Reference Number HC21064). If you have any concerns about the ethical considerations of this Review, you can contact the UNSW Human Research Ethics Coordinator on (02) 9385 6222 or via email at, or you can raise your concerns with the Review Team.

Progress update

On 19 July 2021, the Commission released a progress update which outlines the work of the Review to date, including the methodology of the Review. It contains the only information on the Review that will be released by the Commission ahead of the final report in November 2021.

Progress update


Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference outline the scope of the Review in more detail.

Download in PDF

  • Accessing support

    Support Services

    If your situation is urgent

    If you wish to report a criminal offence, contact 000 or police services in your jurisdiction.

    Support line for Commonwealth parliamentary staff

    Parliamentary Support Line: 1800 APH SPT or 1800 274 778

    The Commonwealth Government has established an independent and confidential 24/7 telephone service to support all current and former Commonwealth ministerial, parliamentary and electorate office staff. The Parliamentary Support Line provides access to confidential trauma-informed counselling services for people who have experienced a serious incident in a Commonwealth parliamentary workplace.

    As well as counselling, the service can provide supported referrals to other specialist services, and assistance in determining pathways to progress complaints.

    Other services:

    1800 Respect

    A 24/7 confidential counselling, information and support for people impacted by sexual assault or family or domestic violence. Phone 1800 RESPECT or 1800 737 732 or visit 1800Respect online counselling.

    Details for sexual assault support services in each state and territory can be found here.