ELEMENT 1: Type of Impairment Discrimination: Direct or Indirect
Direct Discrimination: s5(1) DDA (Cth):
; A person discriminates against another person on the ground of a disability if:
a) Because of the aggrieved person's disability;
b) The discriminator treats, or proposes to treat the, aggrieved person less favorably
c) In circumstances that are the same, or are not materially different;
d) The discriminator treats, or would treat, a person without the disability.
Indirect Discrimination: s6 DDA (Cth):
; A person discriminates against another person on the ground of a disability:
; If the discriminator requires the aggrieved person to comply with a requirement or
a) With which a substantially higher proportion of persons without the disability
comply or are able to comply; and
b) Which is not reasonable having regard to the circumstances of the case; and
c) With which the aggrieved person does not or is not able to comply. ELEMENT 2: Define Impairment
; ‘Impairment’, in relation to a person, means: Schedule ADA (Qld); s4 DDA (Cth):
a) The total loss or partial loss of the person’s bodily functions, including the loss of
a part of the person’s body; or
b) The malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person’s body; or
c) A condition or malfunction that results in the person learning more slowly than a
person without the condition or malfunction; or
d) A condition, illness or disease that impairs a person’s thought processes,
perception of reality, emotions or judgment or that results in disturbed behavior;
e) The presence in the body of organisms capable of causing illness or disease; or
f) Reliance on a guide dog, wheelchair or other remedial device;
Whether or not arising from an illness, disease or injury or from a condition
subsisting at birth, and includes an impairment that:
g) Presently exists; or
h) Previously existed but no longer exists.
; s4 DDA (Cth) also includes disabilities which may exist in the future.
; These definitions are exhaustive.
ELEMENT 3: Area of Discrimination
; s15 DDA (Cth): Employment.
; s16 DDA (Cth): Against commission agents.
; s17 DDA (Cth): Discrimination against contract workers. ; s18 DDA (Cth): Partnerships.
; s19 DDA (Cth): Qualifying bodies.
; s20 DDA (Cth): Registered organizations.
; s21 DDA (Cth): Employment agencies.
; s22 DDA (Cth): Education.
; s23 DDA (Cth): Access to premises.
; s24 DDA (Cth): Goods, services and facilities. ; s25 DDA (Cth): Accommodation.
; s26 DDA (Cth): Land.
; s27 DDA (Cth): Clubs and incorporated associations. ; s28 DDA (Cth): Sport.
; s29 DDA (Cth): Administration of Commonwealth laws and programs. ; s30 DDA (Cth): Requests for information.
; s31 DDA (Cth): Disability standards.
; s32 DDA (Cth): Unlawful to contravene disability standards.
ELEMENT 4: Employer Decisions
; Employer decisions must be based on an actual assessment against the job criteria,
not statistical probabilities or assumptions.
; Madafferi v City of Northcote:
; An employer cant base an assessment of a person’s health risk on statistical probabilities.
; This information is a generalisation only, and not based on the person in question.
; A doctor, on behalf of an employer, decided, based on statistics that the complainant would get
arthritis and would be, therefore, unable to do the job.
; He provided a certificate to the employer to this effect.
; The complainant was not employed.
; Held: You cant rely on these conclusions, you must assess the individual person, an employer cant
rely just on a doctors certificate, they must assess all of the criteria for the job.
; McCarthy v Transperth:
; Doctor assumed that a pregnant woman would be no good as driver because she would not fit
behind the wheel in the future.
; Held: Discrimination.
; Obesity alone does not fall within the definition of the section, it must accompany a
; Cox v Public Transport Corporation:
; Obesity in itself is not a disability.
; Held: Obesity does not fall within the section, so the discrimination was not unlawful.
Characteristics of Impairment:
; Impairment includes the characteristics of impairment, eg. takes more sick leave: s8(a)
; Mooney v Commissioner of Police, NSW Police Service:
; Taking more sick leave is a characteristic of an impairment.
; Complainant was forced to produce doctors certificates for less than 2 days off, and was told to
; He took one month off in sick leave that year.
; He then resigned, constructive dismissal, forced into a position where he had no where to go but
; Held: Discrimination based on impairment.
Manifestations of the Impairment Such as Behavior:
; Treats, or proposes to treat, the person with the attribute less favorably than, in
circumstances that are the same, or are not materially different, someone without that
attribute: s10(1) ADA (Qld); s5(1) DDA (Cth).
; Purvis obo Hoggan v NSW (Department of Education and Training):
; Purvis had encephalitis as a baby, which left him with an intellectual impairment, poor vision and
; He had a damaged frontal lobe, which deals with behavior.
; He tended rock, swear and was violent.
; He was in the care of foster parents, who attempted to enroll him in a normal school. ; The school resisted, but agreed if he was provided with a teacher’s aide.
; He was then suspended for being violent and swearing, and he kicked the teacher’s aide.
; 7 months later, he was expelled.
; The principle argued that of his 1000 students, he spent one day a week on this guy. ; There was a special school near by.
; The foster parents claimed discrimination based on disturbed behavior.
; Initially held: Discrimination, had an impairment and was treated less favorably than someone
without the impairment.
; On appeal, the Federal judge distinguished between a characteristic and behavior, saying that he
was treated the same as anyone else of that behavior, therefore, no discrimination. ; The High Court upheld this decision.
; There were four issues before the High Court:
1) Does the definition of disability include manifestations of the disability, such as
2) Who do you compare the Complainant with?
3) What does discrimination ‘because of’ the disability mean within the Acts?
4) Is there a positive obligation on schools, employers, etc. to provide reasonable
accommodation for people with disabilities?
; The majority held that:
1) The court needs to compare circumstances that are the same or similar, including
the Complainant’s behavior, the school’s liability and the criminal law;
2) Need to compare against someone with the same behavior but no disability; 3) The principal discriminated because of the boy’s behavior, and not because of his
4) There is no positive obligation to accommodate.
; Waters v Public Transport Corporation:
; Public Transport Corp in Victoria changed the services so that some trams would be driver only,
meaning that passengers would have to buy a ticket from a newsagency, and scratch of their
journey as they were made.
; Nine disabled people claimed indirect discrimination based on the fact that they could not use the
tickets properly and that the lack of conductors meant that there was no one to help them to their
; Held: It is not the role of the Equal Opportunity Board to determine minimum standards of service,
ELEMENT 5: Other Information