Anti-Discrimination NSW


​New work shifts caused caring issues

​Conciliation - Carer's responsibilities discrimination

​Published: 6 September 2016

A woman who worked as an aide to a health professional in a retirement village had a son who was severely disabled. For some time her shift times had fitted in with her requirements to care for her son. However her employer began a redevelopment of the facility which involved a major staff restructure. 

The woman was told that she would have to start work earlier and would no longer be able to do her previous job. She said that she would not be able to start at the earlier time, and her employers did make some ad hoc arrangements in an attempt to accommodate her. However she was concerned that this was not official or ongoing, and her situation was now very uncertain. She made a complaint of carer’s responsibilities discrimination.

The woman and her husband brought their son to the conciliation conference, as there was no-one else available to care for him.  This gave the employer an opportunity to become more aware of her needs as a carer. They also realised that she was upset that her work had been changed to general caring, which was very similar to what she did at home for her son, rather than assisting a professional.

The employer agreed to set up and guarantee a suitable shift for her for one year, and to notify her when a position came up doing her previous job. They also sorted out an arrangement for her son’s carers to contact her at work if there was an emergency.​​

What does the law say about carer's responsibilities discrimination?

  • It is generally against the law in NSW to treat you unfairly or harass you because of your responsibilities as a carer.
  • The rules and requirements that you have to follow to do your work must be reasonable. They must not unreasonably disadvantage people with a carer's responsibility more than people without a carer's responsibility.
  • Your employer should also provide any special arrangements you need to do your job at the same time as managing your carer's responsibilities, unless this is not reasonable in all the circumstances. 

More information on Carer's responsibilities discrimination

​​​Back to September 2016 - 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.  ​​​​