BlandsLaw - Blog posts from Fair Work
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Are prospective employees obliged to disclose medical conditions?

Often, we are asked whether employers can ask prospective employees questions relating to their medical history in the pre-employment stages. These kinds of questions are permissible where they concern the applicant’s capacity to perform the inherent requirements of the role.

 

Employers should encourage disclosure of pre-existing medical conditions at the earliest opportunity. Not only will this allow employers to make reasonable adjustments where necessary, but can also eliminate potential risks to health and safety that may arise. In certain situations, failing to disclose (or answering dishonestly) a medical condition in pre-employment can lead to disciplinary action, including dismissal.

In a recent case[1], a prison store supervisor, who suffers from type 2 diabetes, claimed that his employer directly discriminated against him by treating him unfavourably, suspending and dismissing him because of his condition. Further, the employee also argued that by allowing an increased number of inmates without a comparable increase in staffing, he was indirectly discriminated against because it meant he could not manage his condition whilst at

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When can a Casual worker be protected from Unfair Dismissal?

What is Casual Employment?

The distinction between full time, part time and casual employees is not always as straight forward as it might appear.

Generally speaking, casual employees work irregular hours with no guarantee of ongoing work, are hired on an informal basis and are not entitled to paid leave, termination notice or redundancy benefits. However casual workers enjoy a higher hourly pay rate to compensate for their uncertain working arrangement, have the freedom to accept or decline work as it comes and can end their employment without notice. For employers, there are distinct advantages for hiring casual workers including the flexibility to increase staff during busy periods and the right to terminate without notice.

Protection from Unfair Dismissal

There is a common misunderstanding that casual workers cannot file for unfair dismissal; however this is not always the case. 

Employers are advised to monitor the employment relationship closely and be aware of whether these workers are being treated like permanent employees. Simply labelling and paying a worker under a ‘casual’

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The redundancy provisions in the Fair Work Act place a positive obligation on employers to fully explore redeployment opportunities within oan employer's wider corporate structure. As lawyer Andrew Bland explains, proactively pursuing and proposing alternate employment opportunities before redundancy or termination will minimise the risk of unfair dismissal claims or adverse action such as litigation being brought by employees. Click here to read the full article

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