As a manager, it is crucial that you are aware of Deakin's legal obligations under State and Federal legislation, including Deakin's internal policies and procedures.
Below is a summary of the key acts governing workplaces in Victoria and how they can impact a person with a mental health issue. Also refer to FAQs on Duty of Care (PDF, 657.7 KB) for more detailed information on these Acts and your obligations.
The Equal Opportunity Act 2010 and The Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992
Under the Equal Opportunity and Disability Discrimination Acts, it is against the law to discriminate, harass or victimise a person with a disability.
Mental ill health falls under the umbrella definition of Disability. Both of these acts require an employer to:
The Fair Work Act 2009
Under the Fair Work Act 2009 (sec 351) it is unlawful to take adverse action against a staff member due to mental illness. Adverse action may include
The Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988
Both Commonwealth and State privacy legislation outlines
principles about how personal information should be handled,
including in the workplace. Under the Act, individuals have greater
control over why and how their personal information is collected and
how and when it is disclosed to third parties. Privacy is also covered
under Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and individual workplace
contracts and the University's policies.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
Under the OHS Act, employers have an obligation to provide a workplace that is safe and healthy for all staff. Managers must take appropriate actions to mitigate and eliminate any health and safety hazards in the workplace including Identifying possible workplace practices, actions and incidents that cause or contribute to the mental ill health of staff. e.g. excessive workloads; ambiguity in roles and tasks; lack of flexibility; conflict
Employers and managers are required under OHS legislation to provide a workplace that: