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Conciliation Register

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Associate
Family responsibilities
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation

Statement of Service

Amount $45,000
Year

The complainant’s sons have language difficulties and anxiety and his father-in-law, who resides with the family, has Parkinson’s disease and dementia. The complainant worked at the respondent bank was was undertaking a secondment in a senior consultant role. He alleged his team leader told him the bank did not want him to continue in the secondment because of his family responsibilities.

The bank claimed the complainant’s team leader met with him to discuss ongoing concerns about his stress levels. The bank claimed the complainant’s team leader was aiming to remove stress from the complainant’s work to enable him to focus on his family situation. The bank said its intention was to support the complainant and not to discriminate against him.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement to end the employment relationship. The bank agreed to pay the complainant $45,000 less applicable tax and inclusive of all statutory entitlements. The bank also agreed to provide the complainant with a statement of service and a contact point for prospective employers. 

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation 
Anti-discrimination/EEO policy reviewed/revised 
Policy change/Change in practice 
Statement of regret 
 

Amount $10,000
Year

The complainant has a vision impairment and was employed by the respondent community organisation. She alleged the organisation did not provide adjustments to accommodate her disability, including a larger computer screen. She also alleged she was required to access the organisation’s server via her mobile phone or library computers for several months. She claimed the requirement to access the organisation’s server without access to a larger monitor had a negative impact on her health and she felt she had no option but to resign.

The community organisation claimed the complainant did not request adjustments prior to her engagement or in writing after her engagement. The organisation claimed if made certain adjustments to accommodate the complainant’s disability and acknowledged there had been supplier delays in the delivery of computer equipment requested to accommodate the complainant’s disability.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the community organisation pay the complainant $10,000 as compensation for pain and suffering and write to her acknowledging the difficulties she experienced due to supplier delays in the delivery of certain computer equipment. The organisation also undertook to revise its policies regarding requests for workplace adjustments to ensure oral requests for adjustment were appropriately considered and acted on. Additionally, the organisation agreed to deliver disability awareness training to management staff.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Unlawful to contravene Disability Standards
Areas Disability Standards
Education
Outcome details

Apology - Private 
Compensation 
Policy change/Change in practice (internal staff)

Year

The complainant’s son has depression, which can manifest as self-harming behaviour and suicidal ideation. He attended Year 10 at the respondent private school. The complainant alleged that the school excluded her son when made aware of his disability, but allowed him to return following provision of a medical certificate. The complainant’s son had some time off school following an incident on school premises that could have been a suicide attempt. The complainant alleges that, on his return, the school again excluded her son and required him to consult a psychiatrist and take medication, contrary to his treating doctor’s advice.

On being advised of the complaint, the respondent indicated a willingness to try to resolve the matter by conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the complainant’s son could return to school following the provision of a letter from his general practitioner addressing specific areas of concern held by the school. The school agreed to write to the complainant’s son apologising for the distress he experienced, give him access to an after-school program to help him catch up on his work and pay him $7,500 to assist with treatment costs and in compensation for the distress he experienced. The school also advised it had reviewed its policies and procedures in response to the complaint.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Unlawful to contravene Disability Standards
Areas Disability Standards
Education
Outcome details

Compensation

Amount $20,000
Year

The complainant’s nine-year-old son, who has Autism and is non-verbal, and his eleven-year old sister attended the respondent public primary school. The complainant alleged that staff were not adequately trained to support her son and that they assaulted her son by smacking him and dragging him along the floor by the arm. She alleged this treatment was witnessed by her daughter. At the time the complaint was lodged, the complainant had withdrawn her children from the school and intended to home-school them.

The school claimed staff were appropriately trained to support the complainant’s son and that a number of adjustments were implemented to accommodate his disability. The school advised that staff restrained the complainant’s son in response to behaviour that placed him and others at risk. The school claimed that staff restrained the complainant’s son using non-violent, crisis-intervention methods.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the department responsible for operation of the school pay the complainant $20,000 as general damages.

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

Revised terms and conditions

Year

The complainant has an acquired brain injury and Attention Deficit Disorder and uses a nicotine inhaler to manage stress. He alleged he was not permitted to use the inhaler during a flight with the respondent airline despite informing crew that he required the inhaler to manage stress associated with his disability.

The airline advised that smoking and other related devices are not permitted to be used during flights. The airline explained the complainant did not initially disclose his disability and was rude to crew when asked not to use the inhaler. The airline advised the complainant was permitted to use the inhaler once he informed crew of his disability and need for the inhaler. 

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that, pending provision of relevant medical information, the airline issue the complainant with clearance to carry the inhaler, subject to his agreement to carry inhaler packaging and cooperating with crew inquiries. The airline also offered to credit the complainant 49,000 points in its frequent flyer program.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Other opportunity provided

Year

The complainant has a knee injury and applied for a role with the respondent law enforcement agency. He passed the relevant physical capacity tests but claimed his application was not progressed following a pre-employment medical assessment. The complainant alleged the agency mistakenly formed the view that he would not be able to perform the inherent requirements of the role.

The law enforcement agency claimed that prolonged standing, bending and squatting were inherent requirements of the role and that a pre-employment medical assessment concluded the complainant would be unable to safely perform these requirements.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the complainant would reapply for the position. It was agreed the pre-employment medical assessment would be conducted by an independent orthopaedic surgeon and a new decision maker would be appointed to assess the complainant’s suitability to perform the inherent requirements of the position.

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

Adjustments provided

Year

The complainant has anxiety and delivers driver training, which requires him to be registered with the respondent government department. He advised he was required to undertake training with the same department in order to maintain his registration, as registration requirements changed. He said he was unable to satisfactorily perform certain assessment tasks, such as public speaking due to his anxiety and alleged the department declined to accommodate his disability. The complainant claimed he was therefore at risk of losing his registration and his business.

The department indicated a willingness to try to resolve the complaint by conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the department extend the complainant’s registration to enable him to complete the required training. The department agreed to provide the complainant with adjustments to accommodate his disability, including smaller participant groups, lower numbers of assessors and meetings with assessors prior to assessment tasks to discuss what the task would involve and what adjustments could be provided to accommodate the complainant’s disability.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Areas Access to premises
Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Compensation 
Anti discrimination/EEO training introduced 
 

Amount $5,000
Year

The complainant has anxiety and has an assistance animal. She alleged she was refused entry to the respondent museum because she was accompanied by her assistance dog, despite her dog wearing a jacket identifying it as an assistance animal. She further alleged a staff member had yelled at her for bringing a dog into the museum and ‘chased’ her out of the museum. The complainant alleged the museum failed to respond to a complaint about the alleged conduct.

The museum claimed the complainant’s assistance dog’s jacket was not visible at the time of the alleged events and denied that a staff member yelled at her or ‘chased’ her from the museum. The museum acknowledged there was a delay in responding to the complainant’s complaint, explaining this was due to a change in management.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the museum pay the complainant $5,000 and place a sign at its entry stating assistance animals are welcome at the museum. The complainant agreed to withdraw a complaint about the same incident to a different body and to provide the museum with free resources it can use to train its staff on responding appropriately to patrons with assistance animals. 

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation

Amount $3,500 approximately
Year

The complainant has palindromic rheumatism, a form of inflammatory arthritis, and uses a walking stick. He worked as a concierge and security guard with the respondent security company. He claimed the company informed him he would need to be redeployed as the owners of the building where he worked no longer required the company’s services. He alleged that his manager indicated his use of a walking stick was not accessible and he would be required to complete a fitness for duty assessment with no adjustments or modifications. He alleged his manager told him he could undertake the assessment or resign.

The security company denied discriminating against the complainant. The company said it was exploring redeployment opportunities for the complainant and required him to undertake an assessment to determine his capacity to perform the role.

The parties agreed to end the employment relationship. The company agreed to pay the complainant approximately $3,500, equivalent to three weeks’ gross wages and entitlements.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Family responsibilities
Pregnancy
Sex
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation 
Reference 
Anti discrimination/EEO training introduced

Amount $4,000
Year

The complainant worked part-time at the respondent health products company as a digital customer service Representative. She said that during her pregnancy she experienced pregnancy-related physical and mental health issues as well as work-related stress. She alleged that after becoming aware of her pregnancy, her supervisor was hostile towards her, started questioning her work ethic and contacting her on non-work days. She alleged that she was required to bring her toddler-aged son to a meeting on her non-work day. She also claimed that after taking sick leave, she was prevented from performing particular work that she enjoyed. The complainant resigned shortly after lodging a complaint with the Commission.

The company was of the view that the complainant’s supervisor's interaction with the complainant did not change after becoming aware of her pregnancy. The company said there was no expectation that the complainant respond to emails on her non-work days, said that any change in work arrangements was not due to her taking sick leave and said that the meeting with her son occurred with one week's notice when the complainant indicated availability. The company said it supported the complainant in her work and took a generous and accommodating approach towards the complainant's circumstances.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the company pay the complainant $4,000, provide her with a written reference and deliver anti-discrimination training to staff.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Carer or assistant
Disability
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Adjustments provided
Revised terms and conditions
 

Year

The complainant experiences impaired mobility due to knee injuries and sometimes uses a wheelchair. She alleged pools operated by the respondent council and toilet facilities at a recreational venue operated by the same council were not accessible. She also alleged the council’s practice of charging carers an entry fee to the pools was discriminatory.

The council advised a hoist was installed to provide access for people with disability to its pools in accordance with relevant disability standards. The council said staff were available to provide assistance when needed. The council confirmed the bathroom facilities referred to in the complaint do not comply with the requirements of disability standards, but noted they were built before the standard came into force. The council noted accessible toilet facilities are available at a museum near the recreational venue referred to in the complaint.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that council waive pool entry fees for carers accompanying people with disability and purchase portable steps to deliver alternative access to one of its pools. The council also undertook to investigate, and where appropriate, apply for relevant funding, to provide platform lifts to facilitate pool access and to upgrade the toilet facilities referred to in the complaint to ensure compliance with relevant disability standards.
 

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Pregnancy
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Employment - other
Compensation
Statement of regret
Statement of service
Named individual(s) to undertake anti-discrimination/EEO training

Amount $9,000
Year

The complainant was employed by the respondent cleaning and maintenance service to perform pool and yard maintenance duties in a remote location. She informed the company she was pregnant because she was experiencing severe morning sickness and was concerned at the potential risk of heavy lifting and use of chemicals. The company allowed her to perform administrative duties during her pregnancy in accordance with medical advice that she was fit to perform ‘light duties’. The complainant alleged that the company told her that, before she could return to work after maternity leave, she would need to obtain medical clearance from practitioners in the state’s capital city, participate in a work conditioning program and undertake a fitness for duty assessment two or three months later. The complainant claimed she had no option but to resign.

The company claimed the information provided by the complainant regarding her fitness to return to work was insufficient given she had been performing light duties for some time and had been absent for 60 days in the 12-month period before beginning maternity leave. The company claimed a medical assessment recommended the complainant undertake a work conditioning program because she had poor upper-limb function, trunk strength, lifting ability and cardiovascular fitness. The company denied requiring the complainant to access services or professionals in the capital city. The company claimed she was unable to perform the inherent requirements of her role and no adjustments could be provided to address this.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the company pay the complainant $9,000, provide her with a statement of service and write to her expressing regret for the events giving rise to the complaint. The company also agreed to review its policies to better address issues that may arise concerning pregnant workers in remote locations and to deliver training on equal employment opportunity to management and leadership representatives in the complainant’s work location.

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

Apology

Adjustments Provided

Year

The complainant has a physical disability and uses a scooter for mobility. She purchased a property at a residential village for persons over 50 years of age. She alleged a designated parking by was created for her scooter. She alleged she was unable to access the village pool because the distance from the parking bay to the pool was too great for her to walk. 

On being advised of the complaint, the property group that operates the residential village indicated a willingness to try to resolve the complaint by conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the property group write to the complainant apologising for the events giving rise to the complaint and giving her permission to park her scooter on the pool deck until a permanent parking pay and handrail can be constructed. The property group also agreed to provide signage indicating that the current parking bay can be used by all scooters.

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

Revised terms and conditions 
Policy change/Change in practice 
 

Year

The complainant has mild schizophrenia and applied for travel insurance with the respondent insurer. She alleged the insurer offered her a policy with an exclusion for schizophrenia, despite her disability being well managed and never requiring hospitalisation. The complainant applied for a review of the decision and provided the insurer with additional information. She alleged the insurer then offered her a policy with exclusions for schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, reflux and vitamin deficiency.

On being notified of the complaint, the insurer agreed to participate in conciliation.

The complaint was resolved. The insurer revised its underwriting risk rating criteria and as a result, offered the complainant a policy with no exclusions at no additional cost. The insurer also reviewed its assessment processes for applications requiring additional consideration due to the disclosure of complex medical conditions or disability.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Unlawful to contravene Disability Standards
Areas Disability Standards
Education
Outcome details

Apology - Private
Compensation 
Education - other

Amount $3,000
Year

The complainant’s 17-year-old daughter has auditory processing disorder, memory problems, learning difficulties and anxiety. The complainant’s daughter attended the respondent public high school but was often absent due to her disability. The complainant claimed the school gave her daughter poor marks in some subjects due to low attendance, but took no steps to ascertain the reason for the absences or to accommodate her disability. The complainant claimed that her daughter was therefore not eligible to complete her final year of school exams.

The school claimed it accommodated the complainant’s daughter’s disability in line with recommendations by her audiologist and psychologist. The school claimed it tried to meet with the complainant and her daughter to discuss the daughter’s non-attendance, but this did not occur.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the school review its policies regarding support for students with disability, deliver training to wellbeing officers regarding appropriate responses to identified mental health issues and refer the complainant’s daughter to a career advisor at a nearby high school. The school also agreed to write to the complainant acknowledging her dissatisfaction with the support her daughter received while at the school and pay her $3,000 towards psychological support for her daughter.