Anti-Discrimination NSW

Not offered employment after driving test

Conciliation: Disability discrimination in employment

Published: 20 November 2017

A man was refused a position as a bus driver after a driving test revealed that he might have a medical condition.


The complainant applied for a position as a bus driver and took a driving test as part of the selection process. He said that at the end of the test the examiner commented that he had turned his entire body to check the oncoming traffic when he was pulling out or changing lanes, rather than just turning his head. 

According to the complainant, the examiner said this might be a problem, and the complainant might need a further medical assessment, but he was otherwise satisfied with the complainant’s performance. However the complainant was notified later that his application was not successful, without any further assessment. He made a complaint of disability discrimination to the Board.

The man had previously been cleared for work by a specialist, and had the required driving licence. He said his medical situation did not prevent him from carrying out the inherent requirements of the job, and the potential employer had failed to give this proper consideration.

The employer said the man’s application had been unsuccessful because they believed he had not been truthful in response to questions about whether he had a disability or impairment likely to be aggravated by work, or whether he had ever suffered from a serious medical condition.  The complainant disputed this, saying he had answered each question directly and honestly.

At conciliation, the employer offered the complainant the opportunity to reapply for the position, and said they would give full consideration to whether he could perform the inherent requirements. The complainant refused this offer on the basis that he had lost trust and faith in the respondent. 

The employer then offered a financial settlement, and agreed to review its recruitment procedure and change its questions about an applicant’s ability to perform the role. The complainant accepted this and the complaint was resolved.

What are my work rights? Disability discrimination

Applying for a job

In general, all job advertisements, jobs, apprenticeships and traineeships must be open to you, and you have the right to apply for them and be fairly considered for them on the basis of merit. This also applies to bodies which issue licences to perform particular jobs, for example taxi licences or registration to practice as a nurse.

If you are the best person for the job and you can do all the essential parts of the job, then you should get the job, irrespective of your disability. Employers can only refuse to give you a job if you can't do the essential parts or 'inherent requirements' of that job.​​​

More information on Disability discrimination​​​

Bac​k to November 2017 - Equal Time Newsletter​​

Related content:

Subscribe to e-newsletter​

Equal Time is the Anti-Discrimination Board’s FREE e-newsletter. 

Copyright notice and disclaimer​

You may copy, distribute, display, download and otherwise freely deal with the content of Equal Time for personal, educational or government purposes, provided that you attribute the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW as the owner.  

However, you must obtain permission if you wish to (a) charge others for the use of any content of the Board's publications or materials, (b) include any content of the Board's publications or materials in advertising or a product for sale, or (c) modify any content of the Board's publications or materials when reproducing it.  

Equal Time has been prepared by the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW for general information purposes and is not legal advice. While every care has been taken in relation to its accuracy, no warranty is given or implied   Further, recipients should obtain their own independent advice before making any decisions that rely on this information.  ​​​​