Many people fear that they will face discrimination if they tell their employer they have cancer. Others fear being dismissed because they need 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 occur. Knowing your rights and responsibilities may help reassure you that you are being treated fairly.
Learn more about:
- Concerns about discrimination
- Harassment and bullying
- 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 the 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 obtain specific advice about your situation from a lawyer who specialises in employment matters. If you cannot afford professional advice, Cancer Council’s Legal, Financial and Workplace Referral Services may be able to assist. Contact 13 11 20 for more information.
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.