Men and the elderly will be among the key beneficiaries under a strengthening of Australia's sex and age discrimination laws.
Amendments passed by parliament's lower house on Thursday aim to provide equal protection for men and to make the choice of becoming a stay-at-home dad a little easier.
The Sex and Age Discrimination Legislation Amendment Bill 2010 makes it unlawful to discriminate against breastfeeding mothers, while cyber-bullying and harassment will also be targeted.
Significantly, the draft laws set up Australia's first dedicated age discrimination commissioner, who will advocate for the rights of older Australians.
Employment Participation Minister Kate Ellis said discrimination of mature-age workers was a growing concern, and forcing them out of the workforce.
"This is something that should be of grave concern to all of us, particularly given the composition of our workforce over coming years and the demographics that we know we are facing," she told parliament.
"Age discrimination can go unnoticed too often, it is my hope that the establishment of this dedicated role will raise this issue and provide redress."
The commissioner will be required to maintain the rights of senior Australians in both the workplace and the community.
The coalition widely welcomed the amendments.
"Successfully balancing paid work with family responsibilities remains a major challenge for a large number of Australian," opposition frontbencher Michael Keenan said.
"Creating workplaces that support women and men to balance paid work and share caring responsibilities is critical to achieving gender equality."
While the coalition fully supports the establishment of the new commissioner, it has some legal questions over the remainder of sex discrimination changes.
It will wait until after the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee gives its ok, and is reserving the right to make additional amendments.
The legislation now goes before the Senate.