The Australia-wide Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) and equivalent state and territory laws make it unlawful to discriminate against, harass or victimise people with disabilities – including; temporary, permanent, past, present or future, actual or just presumed mental health conditions.
In a workplace setting, discrimination could occur:
- during the recruitment process, in advertising, interviewing and selecting candidates
- when determining terms and conditions of employment such as pay rates, work hours and leave
- in selecting or rejecting employees for promotion, transfer and training
- through dismissal, demotion or retrenchment.
The Act defines ‘discrimination’ to include both direct and indirect discrimination. This means an employer’s failure to make reasonable adjustments for a worker with a mental health condition may constitute discrimination, even when on the face of it no ‘direct’ discrimination has occurred.
The Australian Human Rights Commission has developed a brief guide to the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth).