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Disability Awareness for Supervisors of Apprentices and Trainees

Disability Resource

State Training Services June 2008

Acknowledgment and Copyright
© NSW Department of Education and Training (DET) 2008. All rights reserved. This work is copyrighted, but permission is given to trainers and teachers to make copies by photocopying or other duplicating processes for use within their own training organisations or in a workplace where training is being conducted. This permission does not extend to the making of copies for use outside the immediate training environment for which they are made, nor the making of copies for hire or resale to third parties. Outside these guidelines all material is subject to copyright under the Copyright Act 1968 (Commonwealth) and permission must be obtained in writing from the Department of Education and Training and Equity Matters Consultancy. Such permission shall not be unreasonably withheld.

This work has been produced by the NSW Department of Education and Training and has been written by Anna Mungovan and Jeannette Mangan of Equity Matters Consultancy, with the assistance of funding provided by the NSW Board of Vocational Education and Training.


The views expressed in this work do not necessarily represent the views of the NSW Department of Education and Training. The NSW Department of Education and Training does not give warranty nor accept any liability in relation to the content of the work. Information regarding this professional development program is available from State Training Services. Address: Training Services Unit State Training Services Level 12, 1 Oxford Street Darlinghurst NSW 2010 02 9266 8704 02 9266 8590

Telephone: Fax: Or

Equity Matters Consultancy Mobile: 0422442240 Email:

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1. What is a Disability? - Definition under the Disability Discrimination Act (1992) 2. Did You Know……? - Research Outcomes: Employment of People with Disabilities - ‘It Just Makes Sense’…… employing a person with a disability 3. Apprentice and Trainees with a Disability Overview Recruitment of an Apprentice/Trainee with a Disability 4. Disability Legislation: - Relevant Disability Legislation - Inherent Requirements - Reasonable Adjustments - Unjustifiable Hardship - Case Law 5. Bullying and Harassment What is Harassment? What is Bullying? Employer Responsibilities Taking Steps to Prevent Discrimination and Harassment Taking Steps to Deal with Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment 6. Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Research Outcomes: Employees with Disabilities and OH&S Principles to Guide Employers Procedure to Assess OH&S Risk and Employees with a Disability 7. Disclosure of Disability Disability Disclosure in Employment Responding to Disclosure of Disability Disclosure of Disability in the Letter of Application or Resume Disclosure of Disability when the Employer offers a Job Interview Disclosure of Disability During an Interview Disclosure of Disability after a Job Offer Disclosure of Disability in the Job Non-Disclosure of Disability Health Questionnaires and Assessments Privacy and Confidentiality 8.


Supports and Services
List of Services List of Useful Websites

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au/ComLaw/Legislation/ActCompilation1. partner. or total or partial loss of a part of the body. or (e) the malfunction. 1 The DDA definition of disability also includes a disability that: presently exists. illness or disease that affects a person’s thought the term disability’ is defined by the Federal Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) (1992).What is a Disability? What is a ‘Disability’? In Australia. a family member. or (g) a disorder. The DDA also covers discrimination against a person because they are an associate of a person with a disability for example. reader or carer is accompanied by a trained animal such as a guide or hearing dog uses equipment or an aid such as a wheelchair or hearing aid. friend or carer. in relation to a person. malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person’s body. emotions or judgment or those results in disturbed behaviour. Under these definitions of disability – any of us may have a disability at some point in our life.comlaw. or the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing disease or illness. disability or impairment is recognised as a disability. or (f) a disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction. or is imputed to a person (something which someone believes a person may have. interpreter. 1 Disability Discrimination Act (1992) viewed at http://www.nsf/0/FC69105BAF504384CA2571400006FD7F?OpenDocument Page | 4 . Disability is defined by the DDA as: disability. perception of reality. or previously existed but no longer exists (such as a person who has recovered from cancer or has had a past episode of mental illness). The DDA provides a very broad definition of disability which means any any health condition. means: (a) (b) (c) (d) total or partial loss of the person’s bodily or mental functions. or may exist in the future (such as a hereditary condition that that may develop in the future). or the presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness. whether or not they actually do such as a person may believe that a gay man has HIV/AIDS) The DDA also covers situations where a person: • • • is accompanied by an assistant.

asp 4 Carr-Ruffino.8 days absent. 1999.jobable. 1999. www. Noel. people with a disability had 11.“Did you know….?” People with disabilities can and do succeed in viewed at www. productivity and sales .nf. compared to people without a disability who had 19. National and international studies have demonstrated that these ideas are skills and aptitude and not on stereotyped and pre-conceived attitudes and ideas.24 days absent when comparing people with a disability to people without a disability in the areas of performance. viewed at www.asp Page | 5 However people with disabilities often experience barriers in accessing employment due to pre-conceived attitudes of some employers. just like anyone 1987. viewed at www.2 years for people without a disability over a 15-month period. These studies demonstrate that people with disabilities should be assessed on their individual ability.nsw. years in a call centre compared to 3. 1990.eeo.htm. Work Attendance. have a better attendance record have an average or better productivity rate than other workers have an average or better job retention rate 2 • A study conducted on behalf of Telstra Australia found that: o o o people with a disability worked on average 4. Some believe employees with disabilities are not as reliable or efficient as other workers or are more likely to have an accident.the study found that there were no significant difference 3 • An American study showed that 86% of employees with disabilities had average or superior attendance records 4 2 Lester & Caudill. 3 Noble. 1990. Job Retention • American studies have shown that people with a disability: o o o on Productivity Rates.

asp 7 Jones. investors and decision makers.6% of Australia’s working age population.eeo. 2003. people with disability are consumers. and frequently benefit other employees and the public 5 A survey of over 800 personnel managers in the UK found that: o o o o • 80% of employers found it easy to adapt their procedures and workplaces to comply with Britain's Disability Discrimination Act. and only 13% cost in excess of $1000 7. Employing people with disability in your organisation: • • • • ensures that your workplace is diverse reflects the diversity of customers and the community promotes a positive view of the 6 Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) Page | 6 . 17% cost $501-$1000.admin. 5 C viewed at www. 80% found it easy or very viewed at enables a better understanding of their customers and ability to meet their Of the 69% of employers who made toilets accessible to people with disabilities. This approach benefits the apprentice/trainee with a disability but can also improve: • • • staff morale customer loyalty and enhance the reputation of an organisation. Of the 60% of employers who changed questions asked in interviews.doc.eeo. Most workplace adjustments or changes to jobs are simple.htm. services. Taking on an apprentice/trainee with a disability should be viewed as making good business sense rather than a ‘feel good’ approach. cost nothing or are inexpensive. 1992. 20% cost $51-$500.nsw.Workplace Modifications • An Australian report found that few employees with a disability require workplace adjustment or job redesign. Of the 67% of employers who made interview locations accessible to people with a 76% found it easy or very easy. viewed at www. 1993. 81% found it easy or very easy 6 • A survey conducted in the USA found that 50% of necessary workplace modifications cost less than $50. It Just Makes Sense…… Did you know? • • • • almost 4 million Australians have a disability 1 in 5 Australians have one or more disabilities people with disability represent 16.

Did you know that the following private organisations believe that it ‘just makes sense’ to employ people with disabilities: • • • • • • • • Benbro Electronics (25% of its workforce are to be employees with disabilities) IBM Australia Westpac: 4% of staff have a disability (approximately 1100 staff) Sparke Helmore Lawyers Woolworths Ltd Qantas Merril Lynch McDonalds Page | 7 .

Apprentices and Trainees with a Disability People with disabilities can. Director of Engineering says. my brother and I. The main reason why managers employ apprentices/trainees with a disability is because they were considered the best candidate for the job at the time of recruitment. John Bennett. In 2006 Benbro Electronics won the Prime Ministers Employer of the Year award. Example of a business employing people with disabilities: Benbro Electronics: Benbro Electronics designs and manufactures electronic equipment—mostly commercial and military. I think every person that does business with you respects the fact that you employ people with disabilities.7 years per employee. of course we wanted to make some money. A minimum of 25 per cent of Benbro employees have a disability. Employers who take on an apprentice/trainee with a disability have also considered the other ‘spin off’ positive effects such as: • • • • staff morale customer loyalty promoting a positive view of the organisation reflecting the diversity of customers and the community therefore enabling a better understanding of how to meet their needs. they feel included just because they're a customer of yours’. work as apprentices/trainees. ‘ ‘When we started the business. and I think it includes them in the chain of employing people with disabilities. but we wanted to make a difference in the community and we wanted to be part of the community—and part of that is employing people with disabilities’. Page | 8 . and do. Many employers take on apprentices/trainees with a disability not out of charity but because it makes good business sense. ‘Customers love it. Even if they're unable to do it themselves. Benbro Electronics is a profitable business with a retention rate of an average of 10. ‘I think people with disabilities discover that they do have a capability that they do have some valued skills and they do become a valued member of the community’.

Recruitment of an Apprentice/Trainee with a Disability There are a number of ways to recruit a suitable person with a disability interested in an apprentice/ship traineeship: • contact your local Disability Employment Network (DEN) and/or • contact your local Job Network member and/or • contact your local Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service • contact Disability Works Australia (DWA) • advertise the position on Australian Job Search. Gus and the Australian with a disability who became disabled Apprenticeship Centre officer agreed to during the apprenticeship. A weekly wage Australian Apprenticeship Centre. refer to the section ‘Supports and Services’’ Employment of an Apprentice /Trainee with a disability? Australian Apprenticeship Centres cover all apprenticeships and traineeships. Gus and subsidy is paid to employers who his employer told the officer that Gus had a employ a new apprentice with a physical and intellectual disability that would disability in a new apprenticeship. who currently employs a new apprentice The employer. • ring 1800 639 629 (freecall) • check the national database of Australian Apprenticeship Centres 8 Mungovan (2006) Education to Employment Package. to access at the workplace. service trainer assisted Gus and the including Australian Apprenticeships employer to make necessary adjustments at for People with Disabilities: the workplace to enable Gus to fully participate in his traineeship 8. two days Mentor Services a week over a thirty month period. apply for DAAWS (Disabled Australian Apprenticeship Wage Support) program and • Assistance for Tutorial. For specific information about the services that can assist you. When interviewed by the incentive payment. TAFE was Financial assistance may be made able to provide a support teacher on-site for available to an employer taking on an Gus to assist him and the employer to apprentice/trainee with a disability. They provide a one-stop shop to assist you to hire apprentices/trainees. Interpreter and negotiated a part time traineeship. including those with a disability. Employer Section. Apprentices and Traineeships Page | 9 . Australian Apprenticeships Centres can assist you by: • • providing assistance throughout the duration of the apprenticeship administering incentive payments If you are considering employing or have employed a new apprentice with a disability. attended TAFE for modules he was not able interpreting or mentoring support. you may be entitled to access: Example of Disability Support Provisions: • Disabled Australian Apprenticeship Gus was offered a traineeship in Horticulture Wage Support (DAAWS) after completing work experience at the local DAAWS is a Federal Government Golf Course. prevent him from undertaking a full time DAAWS is also available to an employer traineeship. For further information about The Disability Employment Network Australian Apprenticeship Centres. structure his training program and Gus Assistance can be in the form of tutorial.

provision of job information. The Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) is similar to the DDA and is administered by the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board. (see ‘Harassment’ section below) These obligations apply across all aspects of employment including: • • • • recruitment (including advertising. superannuation and any work benefits) Page | 10 . It is the responsibility of a supervisor/manager to ensure that all staff are aware of this obligation not to discrimination against someone on the grounds of their disability. examinations and other inquiries) selection of staff offers of employment employment conditions (salary. duties. leave or other entitlements. The DDA applies everywhere in Australia and is administered by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. This Resource outlines the main points under the Federal DDA as the provisions of the NSW Anti-Discrimination are very similar. facilities. requirements.Disability Legislation Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1992 The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) provides a legal basis to protect people from being discriminated against and harassed because of their disability. selection tests. contract staff. Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) Each state and territory of Australia has state anti discrimination/equal opportunity legislation that prohibits discrimination of people with disabilities. interview arrangements. commission agents. agency workers and partnerships of three or more people. work environment. The DDA promotes equal opportunity and access to all areas of life including employment. Supervisor Obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act (1992) The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) makes it unlawful for an employer/supervisor to discriminate against someone on the grounds of disability. A supervisor’s main obligations under the DDA are: • • • • not to discriminate directly by less favourable treatment not to discriminate indirectly by treatment which is less favourable in its impact to make reasonable adjustments where required (see ‘Reasonable Adjustment’ section below) to avoid and prevent harassment. application forms. The DDA covers employees.

it is important to understand: • • • • What is Discrimination? What is Harassment? What are Reasonable Adjustments? What are Inherent Requirements? What is Discrimination? There are two types of discrimination: • • direct discrimination and indirect discrimination Direct Discrimination: This is when someone is treated less favourably than a person without a disability in similar circumstances. Background • Mr Woodhouse: o had an amputated foot & used a prosthetic foot o had worn the foot most of his life and rarely had it caused him any physical restrictions. Page | 11 . Mr Woodhouse was employed with Wood Coffill Funerals as Resident Officer The job was a ‘live in position’ Duties included: o the removal of bodies from the place of death. even though she had the skills and ability dismissing an apprentice because the organisation decided that he may need to take more time off than his peers because of his disability. Employment history: • • • July 1993. o played many sports and generally participated in strenuous physical activity.• • • training and promotion opportunities performance appraisal and complaint processes membership of a trade union or trade/professional association. An example of Case Law is provided outlining a true scenario where it was determined by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission that direct discrimination had occurred against a person with a disability: Case Law: Direct Discrimination Woodhouse v Wood Coffill Funerals (HREOC April 1998). Examples of direct discrimination include: • • not interviewing a potential trainee with a disability because the panel decided that it would be too costly and too difficult. As a Supervisor.

Commission Judgement • • • Mr Woodhouse was directly discriminated against because of his disability. who is Deaf. evicting him from his residence and then recruiting and retraining another employee. Mr Woodhouse could not carry the coffins safely for other employees but with appropriate training Mr Woodhouse could have altered his gait so that he could carry the coffins more smoothly. • An example of Case Law is provided outlining a true scenario where it was determined by the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia that indirect discrimination had occurred against a person with a disability: Page | 12 . Providing training would have been a minor expense compared to the cost of dismissing Mr Woodhouse. o evidence showed that Mr Woodhouse’s gait appeared to increase the usual rocking or tilting of coffins. Mr Woodhouse was dismissed from his employment. Employer argued: o Mr Woodhouse was not as stable as other employees when carrying the coffins o it looked less dignified and put the safety of other employees at risk.• • o preparing of bodies for viewing o carrying of coffins during funerals (normally with 2 other employees). to continue in his job on a golf course because all staff are required to have excellent hearing in case someone yelled out that a ball was coming toward them. o a number of incidents where the coffin being carried by Mr Woodhouse had “rocked” and almost been dropped. requirement or criteria could reasonably be changed to meet the needs of the person with a disability Indirect discrimination may not be done deliberately and is often due to a lack of awareness of how it could impact on a person with a disability. requirement or criteria because of their disability when people without a disability are more likely to meet it and • the rule. It is possible to structure the work to enable the apprentice to work away from the main fairways. Indirect Discrimination This is when: • a person with a disability cannot meet a rule. October 1995. Examples of indirect discrimination include: • not allowing an apprentice green keeper. not allowing hairdressers to cut hair whilst sitting. This impacted on the apprentice hairdresser who had a degenerative back problem which meant she could not stand and cut hair for long periods of time but was an excellent hairdresser. as the organisation did not believe that it looked ‘good’.

Adjustments are based on individual need so it is important to consult with the employee with a disability to identify what adjustments are required for them to complete the essential activities of the job. Tribunal Decision • • • Discrimination based on disability (indirect discrimination as the standard requirement of working split shifts could not be met because of disability) The direction to return to work split shifts was ‘unreasonable in the circumstances’ The supervisor was aware of the problems Mr Rawcliffe was having with his medication at the time. as well as your organisation and clients be ‘reasonable’ and Page | 13 . These changes are commonly referred to as "reasonable adjustments". Reasonable Adjustments should: • • consider the needs of the apprentice / trainee. Issues: • • • Mr Rawcliffe was unable to meet the standard requirement of split shifts Split shifts would have resulted in Mr Rawcliffe having different sleep patterns each week causing serious disadvantage by aggravating his chronic tiredness and sleep deprivation The Supervisor argued she was justified in ignoring Mr Rawcliffe’s request because he had not ‘formally’ notified of his disability & need for adjustments.Case Law: Indirect Discrimination Rawcliffe v Northern Sydney Central Coast Area Health Service & Ors (2007) FMCA 931. What are 'Reasonable Adjustments'? The DDA requires employers and supervisors to make appropriate changes to the workplace to enable a potential/employee with a disability to equally participate in employment. Adjustments do not have to be made if they would cause ‘unjustifiable hardship’ such as excessive costs. 9 July 2007 Background: • • • • • Mr Rawcliffe had epilepsy He was rostered to work a 10 hour day shift between two 10 hour night shifts. Mr Rawcliffe’s supervisor directed him to work the split shifts. Reasonable adjustments are provided to ensure that employees with disabilities are not treated less favourably and have the ability to equally compete and work as those without a disability. He explained to his supervisor that he could not work the split shifts because of health problems relating to his epilepsy medication His supervisor agreed at the time Later.

he could not squat. modifying equipment o modified car/forklift for a person with a physical disability o adding flashing lights to a forklift to indicate reverse action for a person who is Deaf offering flexibility around hours of work o regular short breaks for an employee with diabetes o part time work or working from home modifying the job such as exchanging some of the tasks from one position for tasks of another position o exchanging telephone duties for filing duties for a hearing impaired person o a person with a mild intellectual disability who uses a computer database may exchange complex problem solving tasks and replacing with tasks involving attention to detail • • • • • An example of Case Law is provided outlining a true scenario where it was determined by the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal that discrimination had occurred against a person with a disability because reasonable adjustments were not considered or provided: Case Study: Reasonable Adjustments Higginson v Cargill Australia Ltd. . relocating filing cabinets or other items that may limit access providing equipment o computer software such as a screen reader. lowering or raising desks. voice recognition or a speech synthesiser o a tape recorder to take and leave messages for a person with a mobility or vision impairment making the workplace accessible o clear markings on steps for a person with vision impairment o parking space near a wheelchair accessible entrance or lift. NSW ADT (Sept 2001) Background: • • • Issue: • On return to work Higginson’s doctor provided a certificate stating he was fit for work Page | 14 Higginson was a fitter in the Wagga Wagga Abattoir for 13 years He had knee surgery to remove an artery blockage After the operation he could not bend his knee beyond 90 degrees.• enable the person to get the main aspects of the job done– even though they may have a different technique or use different equipment Some examples of reasonable adjustments include: • changes to the work environment. As a result. o modified work stations.

However. • Page | 15 . What are Inherent Requirements of the Job? It is not discrimination to choose not to employ or promote a person with a disability if the person cannot meet the inherent or core requirements of the job. inherent requirement . Examples of Inherent Requirements: • inherent requirement – a driver's license. Example: • The DDA requires employers to assess what the inherent requirements of the job are. A small adaptation to the telephone may allow a person with a hearing or physical impairment to meet that inherent requirement of the job. Mr Higginson had avoided this activity for 10 years. driving may only be a small part of the job which could be achieved by allocating that role to another staff member or using taxi services. • inherent requirements of a job are the tasks or skills that: o cannot be allocated elsewhere o are considered a major part of the job or o have significant consequences if they are not performed Inherent requirements of a job may not be static as a job can change over time.• • • • Cargill’s medical officer found him unfit for work because he was unable to squat or kneel Higginson did not return to work for 42 weeks Cargill argued: o Higginson’s disability was a safety risk because he could not squat to access work equipment o high risk of serious injury if he slipped on the floor and extended his knee more than 90 degrees Higginson argued: o had avoided squatting for many years and used a stool or kneeled with knee pads to reach inaccessible areas o while most fitters extended knee beyond 90 degrees. This enables a person with a disability to assess their skills and abilities against the requirements of the job and whether any reasonable adjustments could assist them to address the essential requirements of the job.using a telephone. A blind person would not be able to meet this requirement. Tribunal decision: • • • • • Higginson was discriminated against on the basis of his disability Cargill had not proven there were any safety risks due to disability Personal circumstances and history had not been taken into account Cargill had not accurately assessed the core requirements of the job and whether Higginson could do the job with reasonable adjustments such as using a stool or knee pads Higginson Mr Higginson was awarded $36.469 for loss of income for 9 months.

Unjustifiable hardship depends on the circumstances. September 2002. Mr Zraika was active in work and sport that required a reasonable level of vision He had a drivers licence and firearms licence for many years. including: • • • what workplace adjustment the person with a disability is requiring what hardship would be caused by making the workplace adjustments the costs of implementing the workplace adjustments Page | 16 . The Impairment is amblyopia . resulting from a childhood injury. The NSW Police Service stated that poor vision in one eye prevented him from performing the inherent requirements of the job of a police officer. Mr Zraika applied to NSW Police Service. – complete an accurate risk assessment – consider his past training.• inherent requirement .heavy lifting. NSW Police failed to: – take Mr Zraika’s individual circumstances into account – assess if he could meet the inherent requirements with reasonable adjustments. qualifications and experience relevant to the job Mr Zraika was awarded $10. What happened? • • • Mr Zraika’s application was rejected An Ophthalmology test confirmed his vision impairment.loss of vision that is not able to be corrected with glasses etc. An example of Case Law is provided outlining a true scenario where it was determined by the Administrative Decisions Tribunal that discrimination had occurred against a person with a disability because the employer did not assess if the employee could meet the inherent requirements of the job with reasonable adjustments: Case Law: Inherent Requirements Zraika v Commissioner of Police NSW ADT 2004 Background: • • • • Mr Zraika has sight impairment in his left eye.000 for non-economic loss • What is Unjustifiable Hardship? Unjustifiable hardship occurs when an employer is unable to provide reasonable adjustments for a person with a disability as it would be too difficult and would place hardship on the employer which would be unreasonable. Tribunal decision: • • • NSW Police Service unlawfully discriminated against Mr Zraika on the basis of disability List of inherent requirements was too broad and general. A lifting device may enable a person with a back injury to perform all aspects of the job.

Below is a case study that demonstrates employer/supervisor obligations under the DDA when working with an employees with a disability: Trang • • • • • Trang applies for a traineeship with your company She interviews well and has completed work experience in the same field You send Trang to a medical The doctor’s report states: o Trang does has a significant hearing loss o Trang would not be able to do the job and that she would be a safety risk. Trang is not offered the position.000 may be unjustifiable while requiring this of a large employer may not). Disability Legislation and Employment. An employer is responsible for thoroughly assessing all requests for work related adjustments before claiming 'unjustifiable hardship'. standards or agreements the employee’s relevant skills. This includes assessing: • • • • • • • direct costs any offsetting tax. subsidy or other financial benefits available in relation to the adjustment or in relation to your employment indirect costs and/or benefits. Is this discrimination? • Could be – based on disability What are the issues? • What are the inherent requirements of the job? • Is the doctor aware of the specific requirements of the job? • What are the specific needs or adjustments required by Trang to do the job? • Can we make those adjustments? • Will it cause the company unjustifiable hardship? What will you do? • Review the doctor’s report • Do NOT act solely on the report – investigate the inherent requirements and possible reasonable adjustments for the job. revenue or effectiveness of customer service what the additional cost is above the normal cost of equipment or facilities for employees without a disability to what extent an adjustment is required in any case by other applicable laws. • Speak to the manager etc in charge of the recruitment process/training. including in relation to productivity of the position concerned. other employees and the enterprise any increase or decrease in sales.• the financial situation of the employer (for example. Unjustifiable Hardship Page | 17 . abilities. Employer section. requiring a small employer to install a lift at a cost of $50. This example is based on case law: Zraika v commissioner of Police NSW ADT 2004 9 Mungovan (2006) Education to Employment Package. training and experience 9.

What is Bullying? People are often bullied because of a perceived difference such as having a disability.such as name calling or put downs. threats. regardless of their size. supervisors and co-workers. The behaviour does not have to be repeated or ongoing to be deemed harassment. often less obvious or direct than other forms of bullying or making them feel intimidated or manipulated.dirty looks or stalked. Bullying is illegal if it is a form of discrimination and is also illegal under health and safety legislation. Bullying is repeated. tripped. inappropriate and aggressive behaviour such as: • • • • Verbal . This legal responsibility is called 'vicarious liability'. ‘All reasonable steps’ should be worked out on a case-by-case basis. Physical . Social . 'All reasonable steps' is not defined by the legislation because what is reasonable for a large organisation may not be reasonable for a small business. ignored or having rumours spread about them. whether it is face-to-face or written and includes notes.Being left out.being punched. Page | 18 .Harassment and Bullying related to Disability What is 'Harassment'? The Disability Discrimination Act protects people from being harassed because of their disability. intimidation or distress intrusive personal inquiries in relation to their disability. Psychological . teasing. offence. email or graffiti threats humiliating them with comments or behaviour intentionally excluding them from work related activities actions that would cause humiliation. is legally responsible for discrimination and bullying harassment which occurs in the workplace unless it can be shown that 'all reasonable steps' have been taken to prevent and avoid such behaviour. kicked or having belongings stolen or damaged. Employer Responsibilities An employer. It might also include sexual abuse. Harassment toward a person with a disability may include: • • • • • • physical harassment verbal abuse and threats. This applies to employers. including sexual harassment and innuendo (it might also be extended to written form through email or sms). unreasonable.

business or field trips. work functions. Christmas parties. bullying and antiworkplace discrimination. but have different employers) agents (eg.If reasonable steps have not been taken to reduce the chance of discrimination. explicit or pornographic calendars. conferences. bullying and harassment policies harassment regularly distribute and promote the Training staff to identify and prevent policy to all levels of the workplace discrimination. bullying and harassment include: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • develop with senior management a comprehensive strategy to address discrimination and harassment develop a written policy which prohibits discrimination. Taking Steps to Prevent Discrimination. bullying and organisation harassment translate the policy into other Establishing an effective internal complaints languages where required procedure discuss and reinforce the policy at Appointing trained harassment contact staff meetings officers provide the policy and other relevant information to new staff as part of Treating all complaints seriously and induction investigating them promptly review the policy to ensure it is Ensuring that appropriate action is taken to effective and contains up to date address and resolve complaints information display posters on notice boards Monitoring the workplace environment and and distribute relevant brochures culture. insurance salespersons operating on a company's behalf) contract workers or people being paid commission a partner of a company harassing another partner members of organisations which grant occupational qualifications a person employed by a trade union harassing a member a person operating an employment agency who harasses someone who uses the agency those within the usual work environment and at employer sponsored functions such as seminars. supervisors or managers workplace participants (where two people work on the same premises. posters and other materials from the workplace develop a policy prohibiting inappropriate use of computer technology Page | 19 . Bullying and Harassment Examples of 'reasonable steps' to prevent discrimination. bullying and harassment issues remove offensive. such as holding staff surveys or train all staff on their role in reviewing recruitment practices implementing the policy ensure that managers model appropriate standards of professional conduct at all times conduct awareness raising sessions for staff on discrimination. literature. bullying and harassment in the workplace then an employer may be vicariously liable for the conduct of: • • • • • • • • • • individual employees or groups of employees directors. bullying and harassment consult all staff when developing Preparing and promoting a written policy on anti-discrimination.

bullied or harassed with access to counselling services or employee assistance programs. bullied or harassed.Taking Steps to Deal with Complaints of Discrimination. Good Business: eliminating discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Provide a contact person or anti-discrimination/harassment contact officers who are responsible for: o providing staff with information on discrimination/bullying/harassment and clarifying any questions or concerns they may have o providing confidential advice on the options that are available for dealing with discrimination/bullying/harassment o providing advice to an individual who wants to confront the discriminator/ bully/harasser themselves. Provide employees who have been discriminated against. Vicarious Liability Page | 20 . (costs should be fully borne by the employer) 10 10 Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (2006) Information for Employers. bullying and harassment complaints include: • • • • Putting in place an internal grievance procedure or adapting an existing one to deal with discrimination/bullying/harassment complaints ensure that the workplace policy on discrimination and harassment provides advice for staff on what to do if they are discriminated against. Bullying and Harassment Examples of 'reasonable steps' to deal with discrimination. Good Practice.

chronic pain. An outline of the outcomes is highlighted below: There is no conclusive evidence to support the suggestion that workers with disability are more likely to be injured at work than other employees. managers and administrators. it is likely that the disability is caused by the work that they undertook and they continued working in the same industry with continued exposure after the onset of their disability (eg two thirds of workers with hearing loss in the construction industry attributed their hearing disability to their work). intellectual disability and nervous conditions). the evidence for Australian workers shows that people with a disability do not have a higher risk of occupational injury. in fact the incidence of occupational injury is lower for people with disability • • • • Page | 21 . sales and service workers were the most common occupations for people with vision loss. When people with a disability are working in ‘high risk’ industries (eg people with hearing loss in the construction industry). An investigation by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission found that employers were particularly concerned about the risk of: • • • unfair dismissal claims workers’ compensation claims and therefore an increase in insurance premiums discrimination claims The Australian Safety and Compensation Council recently investigated whether OH&S and the employment of people with disabilities was a real risk or a perceived risk for businesses. clerical. There was no evidence to support the concern that employing a person with a disability is associated with increased costs such as OH&S and Workers Compensations insurance and a reduction in productivity.Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Employing people with a disability is often considered a risk due to the concern about occupational health and safety (OH&S) and the impact it could have on the business. Almost half of workers with incomplete use of fingers or arms who worked in the manufacturing industry also attributed their disability to their work. • An Australian national study in 2002 found that employees with disability have lower number of OHS incidents and lower workers compensation costs Large proportions of people with disability work in white collar employment where the risk of traumatic injury is low (eg professionals.

edu. including employees with a disability.jobable. Safety is an Inherent Requirement Make Reasonable Adjustments Consider Individual Circumstances Consider the Comparator Test Assess Actual versus Perceived risk Dignity of Risk 1.eeo.7% claimed by non-disabled employees 11 Australian studies have shown that employees with a disability averaged one-sixth the recorded occupational health and safety incidents of employees without a disability 12 American studies have shown that people with a disability: o are less likely to be injured at work than other employees without a disability 13 o have no measurable effect on Workers Compensation insurance premiums 14 There is no evidence that people with a disability are more accident-prone. 1987. Having a good knowledge of these principles can guide you on:   disability and OHS legislation and how they can operate together and core principles to work with when assessing OHS issues for people with disabilities in the workplace To date the main principles illustrated by the courts are: 1. 2. 1998 Page | 22 . 2002b. 11 Johnson.utas. R H. Safety is an inherent requirement The safety of all Studies: • In 1991. a Victorian study showed that only 4% of employees with a disability claimed for accidents compared with 14. 5. It is the responsibility of the employer to administer OH&S requirements in the workplace for all employees. is considered an inherent requirement of the job. 1991. Only 2% have worse records 15 • • • Principles to Guide Employers There is currently no formula in assessing OHS and disability including workers with a 14 Noel. 4. In fact. viewed at However key principles regarding OHS and disability have been identified based on the outcomes of cases presented in Australian legal 12 Graffam et al. 6. viewed at www.asp 13 Lester & Caudill. www. research has shown that 98% of employees with a disability have a better or similar accident record compared to their co-workers without a viewed at www. 1990. 2002a.htm 15 Disability Access Support Unit. viewed at services.

 Identify and implement reasonable adjustments Reasonable adjustments are when an employer puts in place actions to ensure that an employee with a disability has the ability to effectively demonstrate their skills and Page | 23 .2. previous experiences or inaccurate information. not just their disability Presumptions can easily be made about the abilities of people with a disability. Procedure to Assess OH&S Risk of Employees with a Disability When assessing the potential OHS risk of an employee with a disability in the job it is important to:  Assess the inherent requirements of the job The inherent requirements of a job are determined by identifying the work reasonably required in the position and whether these can be reasonably met in some other way through reasonable adjustments. The Comparator Test When an employer is assessing an issue or concern related to a person with a disability. Communicate with the employee about their skills and experiences. evaluate resume and referee assessments and assess their work skills in the workplace. not the perceived risk. If an employee is not able to work safely. Actual v Perceived Risk This relates to pre-conceived views and attitudes about disability that can create a perceived risk in the mind of an employer. it is important to compare the way in which a person with a disability is treated and the way in which a person without a disability would be treated with the same issue or concern. Inherent requirements of a job may not be static as a job can change over time. Make Reasonable Adjustments Under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) an employer is required to make reasonable adjustments (changes and alterations to a job) to enable a person with a disability to meet the inherent requirements of that job. not the perceived views of the employer. the employer must make reasonable adjustments to facilitate the employee’s health and safety at work. This may be based on personal views. It is important for an employer to objectively assess the actual abilities of an employee with a disability. It is important for an employer to objectively assess the actual OHS risk of an employee with a disability.  Assess individual skills and abilities. just as you would when assessing the skills and abilities of any employee. an employer is required to make reasonable adjustments to enable an employee to meet the health and safety requirements of the job. Consider Individual Circumstances Don’t make assumptions based on stereotypes! It is not acceptable under law to make blanket assumptions about a person’s ability to work safely based on their ‘type’ of disability. Equally. 5. Reasonable adjustments must be made unless they cause unjustifiable hardship to the employer or business. 3. 4.

Types of work related adjustments required might include: • • • • • • modifications to work premises for example. Melissa recently had a knee operation and has given you a doctor’s certificate stating she is now fit for work with one restriction. fitting of visual as well as audible fire alarms for Deaf workers. ensuring that work areas and facilities are accessible to workers with mobility impairment. Adapted from the resource ‘Out of Harm’s Way’.abilities in the workplace. the provision of training or other assistance for example. extending training time for workers with a learning disability modifying communication systems or information provision flexibility around hours of work  Reassess the person’s ability to meet the inherent requirements of the job An employer has the ability to objectively reassess an employee’s ability to meet the inherent requirements of the job once reasonable adjustments have been put in place and a period of adjustment has been made. use case law principles as a guide. This will determine whether the employee has the ability to do the job and whether they would be considered an OHS risk. Page | 24 • • • . o she has an old sports injury which makes it difficult to squat. Below is a case study that demonstrates employer/supervisor obligations under the DDA when working with an employee with a disability: Melissa • • • Melissa is in the 3rd year of her apprenticeship. modifications to equipment for example. Her job includes using equipment which is set low and requires squatting to work it. cost nothing or are inexpensive. work schedules or other work practices for example.  Know how to apply Case Law principles to individual assessment When reassessing an employee with a disability. You send Melissa to the company medical officer for further review. o apparently Melissa has been using s low stool to work the equipment for some time. o she cannot bend her knew past 90 degrees and so cannot squat. o using the stool is against current company rules. Most workplace adjustments or changes to jobs are simple. providing flexibility in leave arrangements for workers whose disability requires periodic treatment. The medical officer states: o Melissa is NOT fit for work. and frequently benefit all employees. o she would not be able to squat so would not be able to complete the inherent requirements of the job. You investigate further & find out the following: o Melissa has never really squatted to do her job. changes to job design.

Do not rely solely on the medical officer – especially given that Melissa has a specialise report stating she can return to work.• You tell your manager what you have found and they tell you Melissa can’t return to work. What are the issues? • • • Possible discrimination based on disability (injury) Is squatting an inherent requirement of the job – or is it just being able to access low levels? Is the stool an OH&S risk? Is it an actual or perceived risk? What will you do? • • • Review the essential requirements of the job Review the possibility of Melissa using a stool safely – given she has been using one safely for some time…. This example is based on case law: Higginson v Cargill Australia Ltd NSW ADT (2001) Page | 25 .

It can be difficult and confusing to know how to best manage the situation and understand what your role and responsibility is. focus may be on their disability and not their abilities they believe that their disability will not affect their job performance they believe an employer will see them as a liability and a potential expense some employers may have preset and unrealistic attitudes about people with disabilities. you may be faced with an employee disclosing their disability to you or you may suspect someone has a disability but the employee does not disclose to you.Disclosure of a disability Disability Disclosure in Employment People with disabilities often choose to disclose their disability to an employer to: • • • • • put in place work related adjustments to enable them to do the job avoid misunderstanding or labelling by others create an opportunity to educate others about disability and its impact be upfront with an employer who they feel they can trust access services and supports However. both to the employee and the organisation. your role and responsibility at the different points of disclosure is outlined below: Page | 26 . Responding To Disclosure of Disability There is no legal obligation for an employee to disclose their disability to an employer unless it is likely to affect their performance to meet the inherent requirements of the job or course. To assist. depending on the circumstances. the context and personal comfort zone. The decision for an employee to disclose their disability to you as an employer is a personal choice. Disclosure is an individual decision. such as a job or promotion they really want they may be denied certain entitlements they may be seen differently and provoke curiosity or unnecessary concern in others. Employees with a disability may choose to disclose their disability: • • • • • in their letter of application prior to or at a job interview when the job offer is made during a health assessment in the job As an employer/supervisor. many employees are fearful of disclosing their disability because: • • • • • • • • they may be discriminated against they may be denied opportunities.

it is the employer's responsibility to: • • ensure that the interview panel is informed of the person's disability in a positive manner organise the requested adjustments for the interview. provide factual information and suggest strategies to address any obstacles to the job prevent the interview panel from forming mistaken or stereotyped ideas of their ability to perform in the job identify any necessary workplace adjustments and how these have been achieved in previous employment and/or experiences. including the application of the person with a disability. strengths and suitability for the position discuss how they manage their disability in their daily life and workplace describe how they would undertake the required duties of the position address any misconceptions. Disclosure of Disability during the Interview For people with a visible disability. Disclosure of disability may be addressed by the applicant in the interview to: • • • • • • demonstrate their ability. Auslan sign interpreter eliminate any unnecessary stresses or obstacles that may affect their interview performance. The person's disability and life experiences may be provided at this point if it is relevant to the position or if the person wishes to present all information at the start of their application process. skills. accessible venue. Employer/supervisor role: It is the employer's responsibility to: • • ensure that the applicant is not rejected from the application process due to their disability assess all applications. Disclosure of Disability when the Employer offers a Job Interview An applicant may choose to disclose their disability when an interview offer is made. by evaluating whether the information presented in the application addresses the requirements of the job. Applicants with disabilities may also identify adjustments in the workplace that would be required if they were successful. disclosure at an interview is inevitable. Employer/supervisor role: If an applicant discloses their disability prior to a job interview. The reason to disclose at this point may be to: • • • prepare the interview panel organise adjustments for the interview. e. Page | 27 .Disclosure of Disability in the Letter of Application or Resume An applicant may choose to disclose their disability in their Curriculum Vitae (CV) and/or application letter.g.

Disclosure of Disability in the Job Many employees choose not to disclose their disability in the early stages of their job. if any organise any reasonable work related adjustments required for the job finance any work related adjustments negotiated (unless it may cause unjustifiable hardship) keep all information in a private and confidential manner. An applicant may have chosen not to disclose their disability because they may have felt that it would have jeopardised their chances of getting the job discuss with the applicant the type of work related adjustments that may be required . including applicants with a disability ask appropriate questions to the applicant about their disability to: o determine whether they can do the job o identify any reasonable adjustments required reduce misunderstandings by letting the applicant know why you are asking about their disability not ask inappropriate questions of the applicant about their disability that may cause humiliation and/or be used as a basis for discriminatory decisions ensure all disability specific information is kept private and confidential Disclosure of Disability after a Job Offer When a position of employment has been offered to a person with a disability. sometimes for fear of discrimination.Manager/Supervisor and Interview panel's role It is the responsibility of the employer and interview panel to: • • • • • • focus on the merit of the applicant and their abilities rather than their disability follow the same interview process for all applicants. Page | 28 . However. they may choose to disclose their disability to the employer. every employee's situation can change for a variety of reasons and this may impact on their decision to disclose. Employer/supervisor role: • • • • • be respectful of the applicant when they have disclosed their disability. sometimes because they are able to manage their workload or they don't require any additional support. As an employer you may be disappointed that the applicant did not disclose their disability earlier. Disclosure at this point may occur to: • • • identify and negotiate work related adjustments inform the employer as a precautionary measure should any disability specific issues arise whilst they are in the position evaluate whether the employer and/or workplace is supportive of working with people with disabilities. Disclosure whilst in the job may occur as a pro-active measure or due to a crisis that requires some form of intervention.

depending on the circumstances. even when reasonable adjustments has been provided. Direct questions may be asked about an applicant's disability as well as health status on a medical questionnaire provided: • • • they are directly relevant to the inherent requirements for the job they are not an undue invasion of privacy they are not used for discriminatory purposes eg an employer may ask whether there is any pre-existing medical condition but it would be unlawful for the employer to Page | 29 . If an employee discloses their disability during a disciplinary / performance appraisal meeting as a reason for poor work performance. it is the responsibility of the employer to: • • • • • stop the disciplinary process address the disability issues with the employee. employers are not responsible for providing employment related adjustments. Disclosure is an individual decision. the context and how comfortable the person feels about it. accessing and maintaining employment. Note: the identification of disability issues should not be ignored but it should also not be used as a means of terminating employment.Employer/Supervisor Role: • • • meet with the employee to discuss disability specific issues and inform them about available support structures and services in the organisation. meet with the employee and talk about the type of work related adjustments they may need to do the job organise any work reasonable related adjustments and let the employee know. Non-disclosure of Disability The decision to disclose a disability in the employment sector is a personal choice. Employer/Supervisor Role It is the responsibility of the employer and interview panel to: Ensure that questions on a medical assessment are appropriate. recommence the disciplinary process with the employee. Many people with disabilities have made the personal decision that disclosure of disability should not occur whilst seeking. Health Questionnaires and Assessments An applicant with a disability may choose to disclose their disability on a medical questionnaire. they may be dismissed without unlawful discrimination occurring. which had previously not been disclosed. Employer/Supervisor Role Where an employee has not disclosed a disability. However if that employee cannot do the core parts of the job. in a sensitive manner discuss and identify work related adjustments to assist the employee to meet the inherent requirements of the position provide a timeline to implement the work related adjustments if poor work performance continues after the identified timeline.

Disclosure. including: o making more mistakes in her work than she used to. no one else in the office knows Tamara has an intellectual disability. an employer/supervisor should: • • gain the permission of the employee if they wish to inform other staff about that person's disability discuss with the employee whether they feel comfortable with nominated staff knowing about their disability or medical condition. In this instance. only information related to workplace adjustments required for the employee can be forwarded on to relevant departments. Page | 30 • • • • • • • . not specific disability information. but that was just at the interview. Your manager does not want you to use any outside agencies because it’s a small office. You are not sure whether to believe Tamara because it sounds like an excuse. Generally Tamara has worked well but lately you’ve noticed some issues with her work. Privacy principles are not only critical for developing and maintaining trust but are essential when handling sensitive personal information. it’s a Personal Decision’ Below is a case study that demonstrates employer/supervisor obligations under the DDA when working with an employee with a disability: Tamara • • • Tamara is a trainee in your office. You discuss this with your manager He tells you that Tamara did have support from some ‘employment agency’ initially.withdraw an offer of employment unless they could demonstrate the employee was unable to fulfil the inherent requirements of that position. In particular. dignity and confidentiality recognised and respected. As far as you know. It can also lead to discrimination as well as discouraging disclosure and discussion of disability-related issues. The employee may refuse to have disability-specific information communicated to other staff. Privacy and Confidentiality Employers are required to comply with privacy principles in accordance with the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW). Adapted from the resource ‘Choosing Your Path. o being late for work a number of times o sitting alone at lunch times o yelling at a co-worker recently. You have only been her supervisor for 6 months. other staff might think it’s strange or unfair if Tamara gets more help than them. During the meeting Tamara tells you that she has an intellectual disability and needs more training and support. Failing to protect confidential personal information in relation to a person's disability is a breach of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) and could lead to legal action against the employer. You are now meeting with her to discuss her work performance. An applicant/employee with a disability has the right to have their privacy.

What are the issues? • • • • Disclosure of her disability during a performance review Confidentiality of Tamara’s disability from other staff What is Tamara’s disability? What supports does she need? What adjustments are required? Are they reasonable? Can you still manage Tamara’s performance? What will you do?` • • • • • Discuss needs with Tamara Contact relevant agencies for advice and support. Discuss the need for strict confidentiality with relvant staff dealing with the issue Explain to Tamara that support may be available – is she willing to have that support in the workplace? Access support Set up a process for reviewing Tamara’s performance – after supports have been put in place. Rawcliffe v Northern Sydney Central Coast Area Health FMCA 2007 Page | 31 . Barker v Mitsubishi Motors Australia SAIR 2002 2. This scenario is based on case law: Case law: 1.

The free service is also available to you as an employer if you require assistance marketing jobs and finding the right candidates for apprentices/traineeships or employment. which are funded by the Federal Department of Education. To access a DEN provider in your region. advice on making appropriate workplace adjustments and ongoing support. • Vocational Rehabilitation Services Vocational Rehabilitation Services assist people with a disability. o assist in recruiting and supporting apprentices and trainees with a disability.Supports and Services List of Disability Support Services • Disability Employment Network Providers Disability Employment Network (DEN)provides free services to: o assist people with disabilities to get and keep a job o to assist employers to employ people with disabilities. There are over 220 services nationally. To access a Job Network member in your region refer to: o o National database of Job Network members or Contact 13 17 15. Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). including recruitment services. refer to: o National database of Disability Employment Network Services • Job Network Members Job Network is a national employment initiative that funds a network of private and community organisations to assist jobseekers to find employment. injury or health condition to: gain and/or maintain employment Page | 32 • .

free. effective contact point for recruiting people with disabilities. For further information refer to the Disability Works Australia (DWA) website List of Useful Websites For a comprehensive listing of national and international websites specific to employment and disability. To access a Vocational Rehabilitation Service refer to: o CRS Australia: Freecall 1800 624 824 TTY: 02 9242 4872 CRS website Centrelink: o o Telephone: 13 2717 List of Centrelink Customer Service Centres • The Australian Employment Network on Disability The Australian Employment Network on Disability (formally known as Employers Making a Difference (EMAD)) is a not for profit organisation funded by its members to operate as a strategic business partner with companies. website listing Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training Australian Apprenticeships Training Information Services Page | 33 . DWA will work with employers by linking them with Disability Employment Network services and facilitate the initial development of working relationships between employers and DEN’s. Refer to the Australian Employment Network on Disability Website • Disability Works Australia (DWA) DWA is a national service to facilitate the promotion of employment opportunities for people with disabilities. organisations and governments employing people with a disability. Vocational Rehabilitation Services are offered through organisations that are contracted by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.• • assist you as an employer to identify possible applicants for apprenticeships/traineeships. refer to: • • • Education to Employment Package for Graduates with Disabilities and Employers. jobs assist with issues such as when an injured worker returns to work. They provide employers with access to a single.

University of Western Sydney. TAFE Disability Programs (2007) Beyond Expectations DVD series – 55 Profiles.Resources: • Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW (2007) Guidelines for Managers and Supervisors. Educators. A & Quigley. L (2005) Resource Guide: Occupational Health and Safety and Disability Discrimination Law: A Resource Guide to Assist Employers. Australia Mungovan. Australia NSW Department of Education and Training. Australia NSW Department of Education and Training. Australia Australian Safety and Compensation Council (2007) Information Sheet: Safe.. University of Western Sydney. NSW . Vicarious Liability.A (2006) Education to Employment Package for Graduates with Disabilities and Employers. NSW . NSW . NSW . Dispelling the Myths and Stereotypes.A (2006) Education to Employment Package for Graduates with Disabilities and Employers. Good (2008) Bullying – What is it?. NSW . F (2003) Choosing Your Path: Disclosure. Promoting Equal Opportunity. NSW . Diverse and Productive – A Workplace with People with Disabilities. Australia • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Page | 34 . University of Western Sydney. Disability Rights website. Australia Mungovan. NSW . Australia Reach Out. Australia Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (2006) National Inquiry into Employment and Disability. University of Western Sydney. TAFE Disability Programs (2000) Sprinting ahead . Australia Australian Safety and Compensation Council (2007) Are People with Disability at Risk at Work? A Review of the Evidence. NSW . Employees and Students with Disabilities (PDF document).. NSW . Australia Burns. Australia Jobaccess (2007) Benbro Electronics Transcript. Australia NSW Disability Discrimination Legal Centre (2004) Using Disability Discrimination and Law.Improving your Services to Customers with a Disability. Australia Australian Employers Network on Disability website. It’s a Personal Decision. Australia Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (2006) Information for Employers. Preventing Discrimination and Harassment. Good Business: Elimination of Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace. Australia Mungovan. Australia Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.