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Conciliation Register

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Unlawful to contravene Disability Standards
Areas Education
Outcome details

Compensation

Statement of regret

Amount $15,000
Year

The complainant’s five-year-old son has autism spectrum disorder, anaphylaxis, sensory processing difficulties and ADD. The complainant alleged the respondent public primary school failed to appropriately support her son’s transition into the school or to provide him with reasonable adjustments while at the school. The complainant removed her son from the school shortly after lodging the complaint.

The government department responsible for operation of the school denied the allegations, but agreed to participate in conciliation to try to resolve the complaint.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the department pay the complainant $15,000 and write to her expressing regret for the events giving rise to the complaint.
 

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation

Statement of regret

Amount $28,000
Year

The complainant injured his wrist in the course of his work as a surgeon at the respondent public hospital and lodged a workers compensation claim. He alleged the hospital treated him less favourably because of his disability, including by dealing inappropriately with his workers compensation claim, unfavourable comments by staff, terminating his employment and denial of opportunities for locum work. 

The hospital claimed the complainant resigned from his employment. The hospital said the complainant was required to perform ‘light duties’ due to his injury and no locum work was available for such duties.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the hospital pay the complainant $28,000 as general damages and write to him expressing regret for the circumstances surrounding his resignation.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Assistance animal
Disability
Unlawful to contravene Disability Standards
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Apology

Compensation

Revised terms and conditions

Policy change/Change in practice

Anti-discrimination/EEO training introduced

Amount $2,000
Year

The complainant has anxiety and has an assistance animal. She alleged the driver of a bus operated by the respondent public transport provider did not allow her to enter the bus with her assistance dog, despite her showing him a card from the training organisation and the dog wearing a cape identifying it as an assistance animal.

On being advised of the complaint, the transport provider indicated a willingness to try to resolve the matter by conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the transport provider pay the complainant $2,000 and write to her apologising for the incident. The transport provider undertook to deliver training to staff regarding passengers with assistance animals, including the right of passengers to travel with their assistance animals and the documents that can be provided to identify an animal as an assistance animal. The transport provider agreed to place posters at staff depots regarding passengers with assistance animals and to advise staff that passengers with animals trained by the organisation that trained the complainant’s assistance dogs would be allowed to travel with their assistance animal.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Assistance animal
Disability
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Compensation

Goods/services/facilities provided

Revised terms and conditions

Policy change/Change in practice

Amount $2,500
Year

The complainant has an assistance dog to help her manage a psychosocial disability. She alleged the respondent private hospital declined her application to participate in a pain management program because she would be accompanied by her assistance dog.

The hospital said it regularly allows patients with assistance animals to participate in programs run by the hospital. The hospital claimed the area in which the pain management program would take place was small and it considered allowing the complainant to participate with her assistance dog would impose an unjustifiable hardship due to possible safety risks and impact on other patients.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the hospital admit the complainant into the pain management program with her assistance dog and provide her with reasonable adjustments. The hospital also agreed to pay the complainant $2,500. Finally, the hospital agreed to review its patient information publication to incorporate the complainant’s feedback, to allow program participants to provide information about assistance animals at early stages of application processes and to publish revised patient information on its website. 

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Areas Clubs/incorporated associations
Goods, services and facilities
Sport
Outcome details

Apology

Anti-discrimination/EEO policy developed

Policy change/Change in practice

Year

The complainant's 13-year-old son has mild autism and anxiety and played a team sport with the respondent community sporting club. The complainant alleged that the club’s coaches removed her son from a team, saying his anxiety and shyness with other members of the team would cause confusion and ‘let down’ the team. The complainant’s son was no longer involved with the club at the time the complaint was lodged.

On being advised of the complaint, the club agreed to participate in conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the club write to the complainant’s son acknowledging that he felt hurt, humiliated and dissatisfied and apologising for any actions that caused him distress. In the letter, the club also thanked the complainant’s son for voicing his concerns and advised that, as a result of his complaint, policies and procedures on accommodating players with disability and responding to complaints would be implemented.

Act Age Discrimination Act
Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Age
Disability
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Apology 

Year

The complainant is 64 years of age and applied for the role of flying instructor with the respondent aviation company. He advised he was not offered an interview and claimed the successful applicants were both aged in their thirties, were less experienced than himself and had been trained by him. He also said the company informed him it had believed he held a restricted pilot’s licence. He alleged his application was unsuccessful because of his age and because the company believed him to have a disability.

The company claimed the selection process was merit-based and the two successful applicants out-performed the complainant on their ability to contribute to projects and tasks across the company. 

The company's human resources director wrote to the complainant acknowledging that he found the recruitment process 'hurtful and disappointing' and that the company could have done better in drafting more precise and targeted selection criteria for the role. In the letter, the company also acknowledged that the complainant may have been able to elaborate on his own ability to contribute to projects and tasks across the company if interviewed and apologised for any distress that he experienced. The complainant considered that the company’s apology resolved his complaint.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Insurance
Outcome details

Apology

Donation to charity

Revised terms and conditions

Policy change/Change in practice

Year

The complainant has a genetic disorder characterised by hormone imbalance. He alleged the respondent insurer rejected his application for income protection insurance because of his medical condition and his disclosure that he had seen a counsellor following a relationship break down. 

On being notified of the complaint, the insurer indicated a willingness to try to resolve the complaint by conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the insurer would review the complainant’s application for income protection insurance, write to him apologising for his experience and make a $1,000 donation to a charity supporting people with psychosocial disability. The insurer also agreed to review its policies and procedures regarding assessment of insurance applications and the information provided to applicants about decisions made regarding their applications.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Revised terms and conditions

Goods/services/facilities provided

Apology

Year

The complainant’s four-year-old daughter has autism. The complainant and her family booked a holiday on a cruise operated by the respondent cruise company. The complainant said she made enquiries about her daughter attending the cruise’s child activity centre given she still uses nappies because of her disability and claimed she was informed the centre did not accept children who still wore nappies.

On being notified of the complaint, the cruise company indicated a willingness to try to resolve the complaint by conciliation.

The complaint was resolved. The cruise company apologised to the complainant for the initial decision to refuse her child access to the on-board child activity centre and agreed the complainant’s daughter would be able to access the centre during the cruise. It was agreed the centre would contact the complainant if/when her daughter required a nappy change.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Reasonable adjustment

Goods, services and facilities provided

Compensation

Amount Unknown
Year

The complainant is blind and relies on screen reading software to access the internet. He alleged he was unable to book two international flights on the respondent airline’s website because it was not compatible with his screen reading software.

On being advised of the complaint the airline indicated a willingness to try to resolve the matter by conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the airline implement recommendations from an audit of its website to ensure accessibility to screen reading software. The airline also offered the complainant two upgrade vouchers for international flights.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Areas Superannuation/Insurance
Outcome details

Apology

Revised terms and conditions

Named individual(s) to undertake anti-discrimination/EEO training

Training - other

Year

The complainant has nerve damage resulting from surgery on her spine to remove a non-cancerous growth. She alleged the respondent superannuation fund declined her application to increase her income protection cover because of her medical history. The complainant considers this decision was discriminatory as she works full time and leads an active lifestyle. She also claimed the manner in which a staff member of the fund disclosed to her over the phone that she was ineligible for increased cover because of her disability reduced her to tears.

The superannuation fund said the manner in which the underwriter communicated the decision to decline the complainant’s application for increased cover was inappropriate and apologised for any distress the complainant experienced as a result. The fund advised that, as a result of the complaint, the underwriter involved was counselled and staff received training to avoid similar situations in the future. The fund claimed the decision not to grant the complainant additional cover was appropriate given her medical condition and the absence of additional medical information. The fund indicated a willingness to review its decision pending provision of additional information by the complainant.

The complainant considered the complaint resolved based on the steps taken by the superannuation fund in response to her complaint.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Assistance animal
Disability
Areas Access to premises
Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Complainant satisfied with response/information provided

Policy change/Change in practice

Year

The complainant’s wife has an assistance animal trained to alleviate the effects of her disability. The couple booked and paid for a four-day ticket to a national park. The complainant claimed that two days into their stay, a park ranger directed them to obtain a vest for the assistance animal or leave the park early.

On being advised of the complaint the relevant government agency indicated a willingness to try to resolve the complaint.

In response to the complaint, the government authority expressed regret for the events giving rise to the complaint and offered to conduct a review of its policies regarding the presence of pets in national parks. The agency also advised that, in response to the complaint, it had made available in the parks under its administration vests and harnesses for assistance animals, as well as temporary signage to educate other park goers about assistance animals. The complainant considered the steps taken by the agency resolved the complaint.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Unlawful to contravene Disability Standards
Areas Access to premises
Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Adjustments provided

Training - other

Access to premises provided

Year

The complainant has bilateral trans-tibial (below-the-knee) amputations. He claimed ramps at the respondent café were temporarily blocked off and he slipped and nearly fell trying to access the café via steep stairs.

The café confirmed ramp access had been temporarily unavailable and indicated a willingness to participate in conciliation. 

The complaint was resolved. The café apologised to the complainant for his experience and reassured him ramp access to the café has been restored. The café advised that in response to the complaint, signage regarding accessible entrances has been installed and staff reminded of the need to inform patrons with disability about accessible entrances to the café.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation

Amount $50,000
Year

The complainant was employed by the respondent government agency in the role of Senior Risk Manager. He injured his right knee, making it difficult for him to drive the long distance required to travel between work and home. The complainant claimed the agency declined his requests for adjustment, including assistance to travel to and from work or the ability to work from home. He said he felt he had no option but to access personal and annual leave and ultimately, to accept a voluntary redundancy.

On being advised of the complaint the government agency indicated a willingness to try and resolve the matter by conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the agency pay the complainant $50,000.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Associate
Disability aid
Disability
Victimisation
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Compensation

Amount $3,000
Year

The complainant’s ten-year-old granddaughter has a disability and uses a wheelchair and walker for mobility. The complainant, her granddaughter and other members of the family travelled on a cruise operated by the respondent cruising company. The complainant claimed there were no accessible toilet facilities on the top or pool decks. She also claimed her granddaughter was not permitted to go ashore because she was unable to walk without assistance and staff told the family she was ‘too handicapped’ and that it would present ‘too much of a liability’ to allow her ashore.

The cruise company claimed it was not informed that a passenger would be using a wheelchair as required by the terms and conditions of booking. The company advised accessible toilet facilities were available on the top and pool decks. The company confirmed the complainant’s granddaughter was unable to go ashore because it was deemed unsafe for her to board the tender boats required for shore access.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the cruise company pay the complainant $3,000.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Unlawful to contravene Disability Standards
Areas Education
Outcome details

Compensation

Amount Approximately $4,250
Year

The complainant’s daughter has depression and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder and attended the respondent private high school. The complainant alleged the school discriminated against her daughter on the ground of her disability by excluding her from school camps and other activities and by not permitting her to return to school following a self-harm incident. The complainant had withdrawn her daughter from the school prior to lodging the complaint with the Commission.

The school denied discriminating against the complainant’s daughter but indicated a willingness to participate in conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the school write to the complainant expressing regret for the events giving rise to the complaint. The school also agreed to refund the complainant approximately $2,250 in fees and pay her $2,000 as general damages.