DV added to SA anti-discrimination laws

South Australia will move to better protect victims of domestic violence from discrimination in legislation to be introduced in state parliament.

The bill will add the experience of domestic violence to attributes protected from discrimination similar to sexual orientation, gender, race, disability and age.

Promised by Labor ahead of the March state election, it will protect victims and their families from discrimination in public life, including in employment, education or when trying to access services or accommodation.

Behaviours to be prohibited include criticising or otherwise treating an employee poorly because they took time off on domestic violence leave, and refusing to rent a property to someone because they are protected under an intervention order or have been in crisis accommodation.

The ACT is the only other jurisdiction with similar legislation.

"People experiencing domestic or family violence need every support they can get, and establishing the experience of domestic abuse as a ground protected under our anti-discrimination laws is an important step forward to helping them break free from abusive relationships," Attorney-General Kyam Maher said.

"Under these reforms, victim-survivors of domestic violence could take action if they are discriminated against by employers, prospective landlords and others."

The commissioner for equal opportunity would have the power to investigate complaints of discrimination, and claims could be determined by the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal if not settled between the parties.

Minister for Women Katrine Hildyard said for those who experienced domestic abuse, it was crucial their connection to their workplace was secure and that they were able to access the support they needed.

"Governments should do everything they can to help prevent and end domestic violence and support and empower those who experience it," she said.

The government's bill will be introduced this week.