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Conciliation Register

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

Access to premises provided  
Revised terms and conditions  
Policy change/Change in practice 

Year

The complainant alleged the respondent club told him he was not permitted to use his mobility scooter inside club premises and would need to leave it at the club entrance. He said the club offered him the use of a wheelchair, but this was not suitable as he is unable to walk without assistance or transfer to and from the wheelchair independently. He alleged that despite being informed of this, the club insisted that he was not permitted to use his mobility scooter inside club premises. 

On being notified of the complaint, the club indicated a willingness to participate in conciliation to try to resolve the complaint.

The complaint was resolved with an undertaking by the club to revise the terms and conditions of entry for patrons who use mobility scooters and/or motorised wheelchairs to alleviate the impacts of the disability. Patrons with mobility scooters or electric wheelchairs would be granted access to club premises so long as they: 

* Operate the mobility scooter or wheelchair in a safe manner 

* Not travel faster than walking pace when inside the Club or within a crowded area to avoid ‘overtaking’ of patrons who are walking  

* Avoid distractions such as headphones, mobile phones or other electronic devices when operating the mobility scooter or wheelchair  

* Slow down and take care when turning around corners.  

The club advised that patrons using mobility scooters or electric wheelchairs who do not abide by these requirements may be asked to leave. 

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

Goods, services and facilities provided

Year

The complainant has a hearing impairment and alleged the respondent subscription broadcaster did not offer closed captions, meaning he was unable to access programs.

The broadcaster advised it was in the process of introducing closed captioning in its broadcasts. The broadcaster indicated a willingness to try to resolve the complaint by conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the broadcaster offer the complainant free access to captioned programming on a related broadcasting service until closed captions are available.

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

Apology
Compensation 
Revised terms and conditions 
Anti-discrimination/EEO training reviewed/revised

Amount $10,000
Year

The complainant has anxiety and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, as well as other medical conditions. He applied for total and permanent disability, income protection and life insurance with the respondent insurer through the respondent superannuation fund. The complainant alleged his application for life insurance was originally approved with certain exclusions and his applications for total and permanent disability and income protection insurance were originally declined because of his disability. The complainant alleges that after he provided additional information about his disability, the insurer removed the exclusions to his life insurance policy and issued him with total and permanent disability and income protection insurance policies with a blanket mental health exclusion. The complainant claimed his mental health issues were well managed and had not resulted in him being unable to work at any point.

The insurer claimed that its decisions were based on statistical and actuarial data on which it was reasonable to rely and that its decisions were therefore not unlawful.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the insurer pay the complainant $10,000 and commit to the ongoing training of staff on mental health issues. The insurer also agreed to refund the complainant the cost of his policies to date should he wish to change insurance providers by a specified date. The insurer and superannuation fund agreed to write to the complainant apologising that his customer experience had not met his expectations.

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

Adjustments provided

Year

The complainant uses a walking frame to aid mobility. She advised the respondent sporting team moved to a new venue and patrons were required to use stairs to access front row seating. She claimed she had previously been allowed to pass through a restricted secure area to access seating, but this arrangement was no longer available.

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

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the respondent allow the complainant alternative access to the front row, accessible seating.
 

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

Revised terms and conditions

Year

The complainant has anxiety and depression. She is enrolled in a bachelor’s degree with the respondent university and resides in student accommodation. The complainant said that the university had previously accommodated her need to take time off her studies to manage her disability. However, she claimed the university had recently started a ‘show cause’ process due to an unsuccessful year of study which could result in her being excluded from the university for five years. She claimed the university did not give due consideration to medical evidence about the impact of her disability on her studies and resulting need for reasonable adjustment.

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

The complaint was resolved. The university agreed to apply the complainant’s late withdrawals retrospectively, so she did not fail subjects. The university agreed to allow the complainant to defer her studies, beyond the standard referral period if required. The university also undertook to prioritise the complainant’s application for accommodation on campus.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Unlawful to contravene Disability Standards
Areas Disability Standards
Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Policy change/Change in practice (external customers)
Anti-discrimination/EEO training reviewed/revised

Year

The complainant is blind and unable to read information on signs and notification screens. He alleged he was refused sighted-guide assistance at a station to enable him to find and make his way to a platform.

The respondent public transport provider considered that its station staff and conductors offer passengers with disability sufficient assistance to access station facilities, including locating train platforms.

The complaint was resolved with an undertaking by the transport provider to update its website to include information about direct assistance, incorporating feedback from the complainant. The transport provider also undertook to update its app to state that information is subject to change and passengers should approach station staff for the most up-to-date information and for any requests for assistance. Finally, the transport provider agreed to deliver training on direct assistance and disability awareness to frontline staff at the station.
 

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

Policy change/Change in practice 
Disability Action Plan developed

Year

The complainant is blind. His employer offered him the opportunity to participate in a postgraduate leadership program delivered by the respondent not-for-profit organisation. The complainant said he informed the organisation of his disability on enrolment and requested adjustments to accommodate his disability, including the provision of reading materials in an accessible format. The complainant alleged the organisation failed to provide him with printed materials in an accessible format and required him to participate in group activities being hosted on an online platform that was not accessible to his screen reading software. He also alleged the organisation refused to allow him to enrol in other core subjects.

The organisation claimed it provided reasonable adjustments to accommodate the Complainant’s disability. The organisation said the online learning platform was a new platform and the complainant did not advise the organisation of any difficulties he was experiencing in accessing the platform unless prompted.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the organisation develop and publish a disability action plan and make a financial contribution to a literature review assessing leadership pathways for people with disability in the Complainant’s profession.

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

Enrolment provided

Year

The Complainant’s primary-school-aged son has autism, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, Generalised Anxiety Disorder and motor dyspraxia. She said her son had been enrolled in a vacation care program and after-school care program with the respondent out of school hours care provider. The complainant alleged the service declined to enrol her son for future programs because of the cost and other difficulties associated with employing an additional educator to support her son.  

The service said funding and an additional educator was in place to accommodate the Complainant’s son. However, the service noted that the complainant had failed to submit the relevant enrolment forms for her son to attend vacation or after-school care programs. The service also emphasised the importance of the complainant providing notice of her son’s non-attendance, as the service had previously been required to cover the costs of an additional educator because her son had failed to attend without notice.  

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the Complainant’s son would attend the out of school hours care service and an undertaking by the complainant to notify the service should her son be unable to attend.

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

Compensation 
Statement of service

Amount $35,000
Year

The complainant worked as a childcare worker for the respondent childcare centre. She developed a pregnancy-related medical condition and asked for adjustments to accommodate her condition, including reduced hours and weightlifting restrictions. She said these requests were accommodated initially. However, she alleged that after a period of leave, she was informed that on her return, she would be primarily performing kitchen duties, which involved repetitive lifting, bending and standing. She said that when she told the childcare centre that these duties would not be suitable, she was placed on special parental leave. 

The childcare centre denied discriminating against the complainant on the grounds of her pregnancy or disability but agreed to participate in conciliation.

The parties agreed to end the employment relationship. The childcare centre agreed to pay the complainant $35,000 as an eligible termination payment and in compensation for accrued entitlements and to provide her with a statement of service.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Adjustments provided 
Compensation

Amount $10,000
Year

The complainant is deaf and worked for the respondent vocational training provider. He alleged that his employer and his manager discriminated against him on the ground of his disability, including by excluding him, failing to install visual fire alarms throughout the premises and failing to install a visual doorbell to the staff room. 

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

The parties agreed to end the employment relationship. The vocational training provider agreed to pay the complainant $10,000 as general damages and to re-credit personal leave used by the complainant. The vocational training provider also undertook to meet with the complainant to better understand his concerns and to install visual fire alarms and beacons throughout the building.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation

Amount Approximately $15,100
Year

The complainant was employed as a store manager with the respondent retailer and injured his collar bone in a non-work-related incident. He said he was deemed unfit for any duties for four weeks and then fit for duties with restrictions on what weight he was able to lift. The complainant alleged the retailer and its owner would not allow him to return to work until he was fit to resume all duties without restriction. He claimed that, as a result, he was required to access three months of personal and annual leave. 

On being advised of the complaint, the retailer and its owner agreed to participate in conciliation. The retailer sold the outlet at which the complainant worked, and he was therefore made redundant prior to the conciliation conference. 

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the retailer and its owner pay the complainant approximately $10,100 as a contribution to his legal costs and $5,000 as an ex-gratia payment. 

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Adjustments provided  
Employment - reinstated

Year

The complainant has a hearing impairment and worked as a nurse with the respondent health service. She advised she experienced significant hearing loss and asked to be moved to a less noisy environment. She alleged the health service told her she would be required to take leave without pay until her situation improved. 

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

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the complainant be reinstated in her role in a supported capacity. 

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Areas Access to premises
Employment
Outcome details

Compensation

Amount $30,000
Year

The complainant took time off work with the respondent government authority and was diagnosed with motor-neurone disease. He said he contacted the authority to discuss a return to work and asked if the office was wheelchair accessible, given he now used a wheelchair for mobility. He alleged the authority required him to prove his diagnosis even though he had already provided a medical certificate. The complainant thought the authority was trying to delay his return to work because the office was not wheelchair accessible. 

The government authority said the complainant had been away from work for a long time and it therefore had a responsibility to ascertain that he was fit to return to work and perform the inherent requirements of the role. The authority claimed it took all reasonable steps to facilitate the complainant’s return to work. 
 
The complaint was resolved. The parties agreed to end the employment relationship and the government authority agreed to pay the complainant $30,000 as general damages. 

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Employment - other  
Revised terms and conditions  
Compensation  
Reference  
Statement of service 

Amount $28,500
Year

The complainant has cancer, which required surgery and radiation therapy, and a work-related arm injury. She worked as an administrative officer with the respondent community organisation and alleged the operations manager ignored her, took away her work mobile phone and reduced her tasks. She alleged she was made redundant following a period of leave to undertake cancer treatment. 

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

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the organisation re-employ the complainant on the same terms and conditions under which she was previously employed. The organisation undertook to actively pursue redeployment opportunities within the organisation and to meet with the complainant each week to discuss any redeployment opportunities or applications. It was agreed that if the complainant is unable to be redeployed, she will be made redundant. If this occurred, the organisation would pay her approximately $4,600 ex-gratia, $18,240 as a severance payment, $5,700 in lieu of notice and any accrued entitlements.   

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation  
Anti-discrimination/EEO policy reviewed/revised  
Statement of regret - private  

Amount $5,000
Year

The complainant has strabismus (is ‘cross-eyed’) and was employed by a labour-hire company to work at the respondent insurance company. He alleged a colleague would make fun of him and his disability, mimic him to other staff by crossing her eyes and berate him. He said he raised concerns about this conduct with a manager and was told this was his fault because he was not a good fit for the team. The complainant said he felt he had no choice but to leave the employment before the end of his contract. 

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

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the insurance company pay the complainant $5,000 as general damages and write to him expressing regret for the events giving rise to the complaint. The insurance company also undertook to review its workplace conduct, anti-discrimination and grievance policies. 

Pagination