Disability in the workplace

The general protections of the Fair Work Act provide that it is unlawful for an employer to take adverse action against a person because of the person’s mental or physical disability.

The law defines disability as:

  • total or partial loss of the person’s bodily or mental functions; or
  • total or partial loss of a part of the body; or
  • the presence in the body of organisms causing or capable of causing disease or illness; or
  • the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person’s body; or
  • a disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction; or
  • a disorder, illness or disease that affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgment or that results in disturbed behaviour;
  • and includes a disability that:
    • presently exists; or
    • previously existed but no longer exists; or
    • may exist in the future (including because of a genetic predisposition to that disability); or
    • is imputed to a person.