find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Caution on gambling addictions

Caution on gambling addictions

EMPLOYER GROUPS recently called on the state, territory and federal governments to amend discrimination, health and safety and workers’ compensation laws so that a worker’s gambling addiction…

EMPLOYER GROUPS recently called on the state, territory and federal governments to amend discrimination, health and safety and workers’ compensation laws so that a worker’s gambling addiction cannot be classed as a disability or impairment giving rise to employer obligations.

The call came after the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal ruled that a gambling addiction can be an impairment, which can give rise to a claim of indirect discrimination under disability discrimination laws.

The Tribunal refused to strike out a worker’s claim that, as a result of an employer refusing to maintain their salary when they moved from Melbourne to Perth to avoid Victoria’s gaming machines, the worker had been discriminated against because of a disability.

The Tribunal said that “whether or not the complainant was unable, because of her impairment, to work in Victoria and whether the existence of numerous gaming machines sprinkled around the state of Victoria is, as a matter of medical science, a sufficient inhibitor of recovery to make her tenure in Victoria dangerous to her health”.

In refusing to dismiss the case, McDougall v Kimberley-Clark Aust Pty Ltd, the Tribunal also noted the possibility that, with appropriate medical evidence, the complainant can support her claim that she has an impairment.

“This decision highlights the unacceptable breadth of current discrimination laws, and in particular, the concept of indirect discrimination,” said Peter Hendy, chief executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).

In 2000, the Federal Court also ruled that a heroin addiction was a “disorder, illness or disease” that would give rise to employer liabilities under disability discrimination law. New South Wales disability discrimination laws were subsequently amended to reverse this impact, but moves to amend Commonwealth laws were blocked in the Senate.

“Now it seems possible that a gambling addiction can fall under the same law, creating obligations on employers,” Hendy said.

“These examples illustrate how well-intentioned laws are being used to transfer individual responsibilities onto employers where they are beyond the control of a business.”

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Caution on gambling addictions
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
microphone
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
protest
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Blocked
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...