​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

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Discrimination

    Can your employer dismiss you for a discriminatory reason?

    Under the Fair Work Act, an employer must not dismiss you because of your:

    • race
    • colour
    • sex
    • sexual preference
    • age
    • physical or mental disability
    • marital status (that is, whether you are married or not)
    • family or carer's responsibilities
    • pregnancy
    • religion
    • political opinion
    • national extraction
    • social origin.

    There are some exceptions to this rule. An employer may be able to dismiss you if:

    1. It is not against the anti-discrimination laws of your state or Australian law.

    Each state has its own anti-discrimination laws and there are also Australian anti-discrimination laws. For example, the Commonwealth Age Discrimination Act, or the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act. Some sorts of discrimination are not included in NSW or Federal laws. For example it is not unlawful to discriminate on the basis of political opinion or religion in NSW or under Australian law. Also, each of these laws give exceptions so that action that may look like discrimination will be lawful.

    2. You have to have certain attributes or abilities to do a job (sometimes called the 'inherent requirements' of a position).

    For example, it may be an inherent requirement of a position that you have certain physical abilities (like being able to do heavy lifting).

    Hint icon​  Employers usually have to make reasonable adjustments if your ability to do a job changes. However, this is a complicated area and you should get legal advice if you are in this situation.

    3. The action is taken by a religious institution as a genuine attempt to protect the beliefs and teachings of the religion

    Churches, religious groups and organisations (like religious charities or schools) may be able to discriminate if this is done as part of their religion.

    What can you do

    If you were dismissed from your job, you may be able to make a number of different claims against your employer. Before you make any claims or applications, you should get legal advice to help you work out what is the right option for you. This will include working out whether the discrimination is covered by one of the exceptions or not.

    If someone dismissed you for a discriminatory reason, it is possible to make a general protections application to the Fair Work Commission (the Commission).

    Alert icon  If you were dismissed and you want to make a general protections dismissal application to the Commission, you must do so within 21 days of the date you were dismissed.

    The Commission may accept late applications, but usually only in exceptional cases.

    The Commission will hold a conference to try and settle the dispute. If this does not end the problem, you can apply to the Federal Circuit Court to ask for an order.

    The Federal Circuit Court can order that:

    • you be reinstated (get your job back)
    • your employer pay a fine (penalty)
    • compensation be paid to you. 

    Which section of the Fair Work Act applies?

    Section 351 of the Fair Work Act is the section that protects you from discrimination. When filling out your general protections application form for the Commission, you will need to refer to this section of the Act and you will need to state the ground of discrimination, for example, 'carer's responsibilities'.

    Case study

    AngelaIcon - case study

    Angela worked for a company that provides technical support to small to medium size businesses.

    She had been on ma​ternity leave and recently had a meeting with her boss to discuss her return to work. Angela asked to work part time as she only has child care for her baby 3 days per week. Her manager said this would not be possible. He told her that technical support officers must work full time and if she could not do this she could consider herself dismissed. Angela thinks that the job could be done part-time.

    Angela's manager must not discriminate against her because of her family responsibilities. Angela also has a right to request flexible working arrangements. Angela should get legal advice about whether to make a general protections application.

    Alert Icon This topic only deals with dismissals. However, it is possible to make a general protections application even if you have not been dismissed. You should get legal advice if you have been dismissed or are having problems at work. You may have other options, such as:

    • unfair dismissal claim if you were dismissed (for more information, see Unfair dismissal)
    • discrimination claim (if you have been discriminated against at work)
    • bullying claim (if you have not been dismissed but are experiencing workplace bullying).

    For answers to commonly asked questions, see What are general protections? - Frequently Asked Questions.



     

    Person filing documents with the Federal Magistrates Court