- Cancer Information
- Practical concerns
- Cancer, work and you
- For workers
- Workplace rights
- Unfair dismissal
An employer can’t pressure you to resign or dismiss you because you have cancer or are caring for a family or household member diagnosed with cancer.
All permanent employees are entitled to receive paid personal leave. In general, as long as an employee provides evidence of their illness, it is against the law to dismiss them for:
- taking paid personal leave (even if they are away for a long time)
- taking unpaid, or a combination of paid and unpaid, personal leave of up to three months within a 12-month period.
If you think your employment was ended unfairly, this may be unfair dismissal. You have 21 days from the date of dismissal to lodge a complaint with the Fair Work Commission. You must also meet some other conditions to be eligible to lodge an unfair dismissal claim – visit the Fair Work Commission for more details.
Resolving a workplace issue
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.