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Types of discrimination

Disability
It is against the law to discriminate against anyone in the workplace because they have, or are assumed
to have, a disability.

Employees are protected from discrimination at all stages of employment including recruitment,
workplace terms and conditions and dismissal.

Disability includes:

• total or partial loss of body function or a body part

• the presence of organisms (such as HIV or Hepatitis C) that may cause disease or disability,
malformation or disfigurement of the body

• mental or psychological diseases or disorders

• conditions or disorders that may result in a person learning more slowly.

The law protects people who have had a disability in the past and those that may have a disability in the
future (for example, a genetic predisposition to a disability).

While employees have no legal obligation to disclose their disability to an employer, disclosure may be
practical in certain situations, such as where reasonable adjustments can be made to support them.

Employment activity
It is against the law for employers to treat their employees or contractors unfavourably because they
make reasonable requests or communicate concerns about their employment entitlements verbally or
in writing. This is known as discrimination on the basis of employment activity.

Employees are protected from discrimination at all stages of employment including recruitment,
workplace terms and conditions and dismissal.

Employment entitlements relate to an employee's rights and entitlements under their contract,
agreement, relevant award or law, such as rates of pay and annual leave.

Gender identity
Gender identity is where people of one sex identify as a member of the other sex, or where people of
indeterminate sex identify as a member of a particular sex.
A person may identify as a member of a particular gender by through the way they dress, a name
change or medication intervention, such as hormone therapy, counselling or sex reassignment surgery.

Age discrimination
It is against the law to discriminate against anyone in the workplace because of their actual or assumed
age.

Employees are protected from discrimination at all stages of employment including recruitment,
workplace terms and conditions and dismissal.

Stereotypes and assumptions about young people and mature workers can have a big influence on
decisions in the workplace.

Employees are protected from discrimination at all stages of employment including recruitment, in
workplace terms and conditions, return to work after illness or pregnancy or dismissal and
retrenchment. People are also protected from discriminatory advertising that may deter them from
applying for a role.