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Conciliation Register

Act Age Discrimination Act
Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Age
Disability
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Revised terms and conditions

Year

The complainant was 69 years of age and has osteoarthritis. He said his local supermarket changed its payment policy to only allow payment by credit or debit card. He alleged this practice was discriminatory because older persons and persons with disability were more likely to experience difficulties in obtaining and using credit and/or debit cards.

The respondent supermarket advised it conducted a trial of card-only payment systems in some of these stores. The supermarket advised the trial had concluded and all stores accepted cash payments. The supermarket said that it appreciated that it may have moved ahead of community expectations and that not all customers felt welcome using card-only payment systems.

The complainant advised he considered his complaint resolved based on the supermarket’s assurances that all stores once again accepted cash payments.

Act Age Discrimination Act
Grounds Age
Areas Employment
Insurance
Outcome details

Other opportunity provided 
Policy change/Change in practice

Year

The complainant is 64 years of age and was employed by the respondent computer wholesaler and IT services provider. Employees under the age of 65 were covered by a group salary continuance insurance policy which provided a monthly income benefit in case of total or partial disability due to illness or injury. Employees who were members of the corporate superannuation fund were also covered by a death and total and permanent disability insurance policy which provided a lump sum payable on death or total and permanent disablement. Cover under the latter policy progressively decreased after an employee turned 60 years of age until age 65 when cover ceased completely. The complainant alleged the company discriminated against him on the ground of age by not providing him with the same insurance benefits available to other employees.

The company said that it was not contractually or statutorily required to offer these insurance benefits and that participation in these arrangements was therefore not a term or condition of employment. The company claimed that the age restrictions were features of the insurance policies it procured and that it was unable to control what insurance products were commercially available.

The complaint was resolved. The company undertook to inform staff impacted by the age restrictions as soon as possible and to look for policies with fewer age restrictions when it was time to source new policies. The company also agreed that if the complainant could source a policy in the market that covered him and that was capable of being salary sacrificed, it could facilitate the salary-sacrifice arrangements.

Act Age Discrimination Act
Grounds Age
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Apology - Private  
Goods/services/facilities - other (individual) 
Training - other  

Year

The complainant is 71 years of age and a long-term customer of the respondent bank. He made enquiries about obtaining a home-loan to enable him to buy an investment property which may later become his home. He alleged he was told it was the bank’s policy not to offer home loans to persons over 70 years of age without taking into account his ability to repay the loan. The complainant received a superannuation pension and owned significant assets.

 
The bank claimed that the complainant was ineligible to proceed with a loan application due to his income and the potential for the loan to place him into financial hardship. The bank claimed that providing a loan to the complainant would not be considered responsible lending.  

The complaint was resolved. The bank acknowledged that its staff did not ask for, or collect, all relevant information before making an assessment about the complainant's request and apologised for his experience. The bank undertook to offer the relevant staff member additional training and to ensure that all staff are aware of their obligations when assessing loan applications. It was also agreed that the branch manager would contact the complainant directly to discuss the information needed to ensure a thorough assessment of his request. 

Act Age Discrimination Act
Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Age
Disability
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation

Amount Approximately $61,000
Year

The complainant is 70 years of age and has a chronic eye condition. He alleged that following a restructure, the Chairman of the company told him his role as Chief Financial Officer would be made redundant because of his age and vision impairment and to allow the company to recruit someone younger. He alleged he was pressured for his redundancy to be announced as his retirement even though he did not wish to retire.

The respondents denied the allegations but indicated a willingness to participate in conciliation to try to resolve the complaint.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the company pay the complainant $20,000 as general damages and buy back his shares in the company, which were worth approximately $41,000.

Act Age Discrimination Act
Grounds Age
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Revised terms and conditions 
Apology – private 
Training – anti-discrimination/EEO training introduced 

Year

The complainant alleged the respondent employment agency posted an advertisement seeking a ‘young’ security professional. 

The employment agency said a mistake had been made and there had been no intent to exclude any person from applying, or being considered, for the role on the ground of age. The agency undertook to amend the advertisement and deliver anti-discrimination training to new staff. The agency also advised it would contact the complainant to apologise for the incident. 

The complainant considered the action taken by the employment agency in response to being notified of the complaint resolved the matter. 

Act Age Discrimination Act
Grounds Age
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation 
Policy change/Change in practice 
Named individual(s) to undertake anti-discrimination/EEO training 
Anti-discrimination/EEO training introduced

Amount $2,000
Year

The complainant is 52 years of age and applied for an overseas position as an English teacher. She alleged the respondent company did not progress her application because it considered she would be unlikely to secure a visa due to her age.

The company claimed the decision not to hire the complainant was based on merit and suitability for the role.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the company commission anti-discrimination training for all its staff, review its policies and procedures and recommend to its parent company that the recruitment process be reviewed in order to avoid age discrimination. The company also agreed to pay the complainant $2,000.

Act Age Discrimination Act
Grounds Age
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Insurance
Outcome details

Revised terms and conditions 
Policy change/Change in practice

Year

The complainant is 77 years of age and alleged the respondent insurer did not offer him motorbike insurance because of its policy not to insure riders over the age of 75.

The insurer that, while there was a policy of not insuring riders over 75, staff had discretion to offer coverage to older riders. The insurer considered the complainant should have been offered insurance given he had previously held insurance policies and had made no claims under the most recent policy.

The complaint was resolved. The insurer agreed to update its policies and online systems to provide for the automatic acceptance of quotes for riders aged over 75, noting that whether cover was offered would otherwise be subject to the usual underwriting criteria.

Act Age Discrimination Act
Grounds Age
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation

Amount Approximately $24,500
Year

The complainant is 70 years of age and was employed as a coordinator at the respondent childcare provider. She claimed her manager fabricated concerns about her performance and the organisation placed her on a performance management plan. She alleged her manager and the company were pressuring her to resign because of her age.

The company claimed genuine concerns were held about the complainant’s performance and arose from complaints by co-workers about her conduct. The company claimed the performance improvement plan was designed with the aim of helping the complainant improve her performance rather than to pressure her to resign.

The complaint was resolved. The parties agreed to end the employment relationship.  The company agreed to pay the complainant approximately $17,000 in outstanding entitlements on a fortnightly basis, followed by a lump-sum payment of approximately $7,500.

Act Age Discrimination Act
Grounds Age
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Revised terms and conditions

Year

The complainant is 66 years of age and an alumni of the respondent university. He sought to join a university club and alleges the club offered membership free of cost only to alumni under the age of 35. He said the club did not offer him free membership despite him being retired and on a fixed income.

The university claimed that the offer of free membership to alumni under 35 was not unlawful because it constitutes positive discrimination. The university claimed the differential rate for young alumni was offered to recognise a lack of membership in this age group and to try to increase the youth take up of membership with a view to improving retention.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the university waive the club joining fee for the complainant.

Act Age Discrimination Act
Grounds Aids, permits or instructs
Age
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Revised terms and conditions

Year

The complainant is 72 years of age and claimed the respondent financial institution declined his application for a credit card despite him meeting relevant income threshold requirements. He claimed the financial institution told him that his age was a factor in the decision to decline the application.

The financial institution confirmed it declined the complainant’s application for a credit card and explained that the process by which ability to meet payments was assessed could underestimate retirees’ ability to pay because it focused on taxable income. 

The complaint was resolved. The financial institution offered the complainant a credit card following discussion of information relevant to the complainant's ability to meet payments.

Act Age Discrimination Act
Grounds Aids, permits or instructs
Age
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Revised terms and conditions

Year

The complainant is 72 years of age and claimed the respondent financial institution declined his application for a credit card despite him meeting relevant income threshold requirements. He claimed the financial institution told him that his age was a factor in the decision to decline the application.

The financial institution confirmed it declined the complainant’s application for a credit card and explained that the process by which ability to meet payments was assessed could underestimate retirees’ ability to pay because it focussed on taxable income. 

The complaint was resolved. The financial institution offered the complainant a credit card following discussion of information relevant to the complainant’s ability to meet payments.
 

Act Age Discrimination Act
Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Age
Race
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Anti discrimination/EEO training introduced 
 

Year

The complainant advised she is a South Sea Islander and her husband and children are Aboriginal. She is 53 years of age and worked as an animal facility officer with the respondent local council. The complainant alleged that, during a conversation, a colleague referred repeatedly to ‘Abos’ and said words to the effect that ‘they are okay when they are not drunk’. She alleged that when seeking to use a computer the complainant was using, the same colleague said ‘It’s not my fault you are so slow cause you are old’. She alleged both conversations took place in front of a supervisor, who took no action. The complainant said she made a complaint to Human Resources, who found allegations of racism to be substantiated but asked her if she would have found it as offensive had her colleague been referring to ‘pommies’. The complainant felt she had no option but to resign.

The council confirmed that an internal investigation found the complainant’s allegations to be substantiated. The council claimed all the recommendations of the investigator’s report were implemented.

The complaint was resolved. The council assured the complainant of its commitment to cultural diversity as reflected in its policies, including its code of conduct. The council undertook to include diversity as a topic in induction training and to include a leaflet on cultural diversity in its new induction pack.

Act Age Discrimination Act
Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Age
Race
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Apology
Policy change/Change in practice (external customers) 
Anti discrimination/EEO training introduced 

Year

The complainant is 35 years of age and of Pakistani national origin. He alleged that, during an interview for an engineering role with the respondent company, the interviewer asked him about his nationality and said he would not hire the complainant. The complainant claimed the interviewer said ‘age is an issue’, ‘you will struggle to get a job in this age’ and that he would not fit in with the "young" team.

The company said interviewers ask a range of questions to get to know prospective employees and noted it employs staff of different ages and ethnic and national origins.

The complaint was resolved with an undertaking by the company to review its recruitment process so that interviews are conducted by two staff members. The company also undertook to commission an external provider to deliver training on discrimination and cultural awareness. The interviewer wrote to the complainant to apologise for the events giving rise to the complaint.

Act Age Discrimination Act
Racial Discrimination Act
Grounds Age
Race
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Apology
Policy change/Change in practice (external customers) 
Anti discrimination/EEO training introduced 

Year

The complainant is 35 years of age and of Pakistani national origin. He alleged that, during an interview for an engineering role with the respondent company, the interviewer asked him about his nationality and said he would not hire the complainant. The complainant claimed the interviewer said ‘age is an issue’, ‘you will struggle to get a job in this age’ and that he would not fit in with the "young" team.

The company said interviewers ask a range of questions to get to know prospective employees and noted it employs staff of different ages and ethnic and national origins.

The complaint was resolved with an undertaking by the company to review its recruitment process so that interviews are conducted by two staff members. The company also undertook to commission an external provider to deliver training on discrimination and cultural awareness. The interviewer wrote to the complainant to apologise for the events giving rise to the complaint.

Act Age Discrimination Act
Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Age
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Revised terms and conditions

Anti-discrimination/EEO training introduced

Year

The complainant is 73 years of age and was employed in a senior management role by the respondent metallurgy business. She alleged the business manager discriminated against her because of her age and sex, including by commenting that she ‘couldn't work forever’, asking her to nominate a retirement date, referring to her as ‘back office staff’ rather than senior management, excluding her from senior management meetings, refusing to give her a pay rise and relocating her to a different building isolated from head office. 

The company claimed the complainant commented that she would ‘not be around’ in the future and that discussions about possible retirement were conducted as part of succession planning processes. The company said the complainant was relocated due to a business restructure and not because of her age or sex. The company said the complainant was included in meetings relevant to her work and was one of several staff who did not receive a pay rise that year.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the complainant’s team would be renamed to more accurately reflect the work it performed, location of meetings would alternate between the complainant’s workplace and head office and the company would deliver training on equal employment opportunity to all staff. It was also agreed the company would not initiate any retirement discussions with the complainant, she would meet with her business manager weekly to discuss communication and any other concerns and she would receive a pay-rise the following year, pending overall business performance.
 

Pagination