- Cancer Information
- Practical concerns
- Cancer, work and you
- For workers
- Key questions about cancer and work
- What are my rights regarding privacy and disclosure?
What are my rights regarding privacy and disclosure?
If you do tell your employer about your diagnosis, they should keep this information confidential. In general, your employer needs your consent to tell other people about your illness and treatment. In some rare situations they may be able to share (disclose) this information without your consent if there’s a serious health risk to others. If you believe your health information has been disclosed without your consent, talk to your employer. The person who shared the information may be disciplined. Contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner for advice – call 1300 363 992.
If you take paid personal leave because you are sick, your employer may require a medical certificate or other evidence confirming that you’re not fit for work. The certificate doesn’t have to say you have cancer. Depending on how long you are away, your employer may ask for some details about why you are absent.
Kerryann White, Manager, People and Culture, Cancer Council SA; Nicola Martin, Principal, McCabe Curwood, NSW; Jane Auchettl, Coordinator, Education and Training Programs, Cancer Council Victoria; Craig Brewer, Consumer; Alana Cochrane, Human Resources Business Partner, Greater Bank Newcastle, NSW; Shona Gates, Senior Social Worker, North West Cancer Centre, North West Regional Hospital, TAS; Dianne Head, Cancer Nurse Coordinator, Metastatic Breast Cancer, Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre Westmead, NSW; Alex Kelly, Talent Acquisition Business Partner, Aon, NSW; Prof Bogda Koczwara AM, Senior Staff Specialist, Department of Medical Oncology, Flinders Medical Centre, SA; Sharyn McGowan, Occupational Therapist, Bendigo Health, VIC; Jeanne Potts, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria; Michelle Smerdon, Legal and Financial Support Services Manager, Cancer Council NSW. We would also like to than the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.