Many people worry they will face discrimination if they tell their employer they have cancer. Others fear being dismissed for needing time off work for treatment or to care for a family member with cancer. While many employers and colleagues are caring and supportive, discrimination in the workplace can happen. Knowing your rights and responsibilities may help you know if you’re being treated fairly.
Learn more about:
- Concerns about discrimination
- Harassment and bullying
- Resolving a workplace issue
- Caring for someone with cancer
- Unfair dismissal
Seek professional advice
This section discusses the law that applies to most employees in Australia under the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and Fair Work Act 2009. The law that applies to you depends on what organisation you work for, your employment status, and whether there is any applicable state or territory legislation. Your award or enterprise agreement may provide additional entitlements.
You should get specific advice about your situation from a lawyer who specialises in employment matters.
If you can’t afford professional advice, Cancer Council may be able to refer you to a suitable lawyer or suggest a service that can give you more information. Call 13 11 20 to see what help, or possible free legal advice, may be available in your state or territory.
Podcast: Coping with a cancer diagnosis
Brooke Russell, Principal Occupational Therapist, WA Cancer Occupational Therapy, WA; Bianca Alessi, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Dr Prunella Blinman, Medical Oncologist, Concord Cancer Centre, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, NSW; James Chirgwin, Physiotherapist, The Wesley Hospital, QLD; Danielle Curnoe, Consumer; Simon Gates, Barrister, Tasmanian Bar, TAS; Justin Hargreaves, Medical Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Bendigo Health Cancer Centre, VIC; Kaylene Jacques, Director, People and Communications, Cancer Council NSW; Alex Kelly, Senior People Attraction Advisor, Human Resources, Allianz Australia Insurance, NSW; Legal reviewer; Georgina Lohse, Social Worker, GV Health, VIC; Lesley McQuire, Consumer, Cancer Voices NSW.
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