How Can Employers Assist Workers with Acquired Brain Injury

Vince Scopelliti - Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A decision by the Queensland Court of Appeal highlights why employers must take into account the needs of workers with an acquired brain injury, in order to avoid being considered to have discriminated against them. 

In Chivers v State of Queensland (Queensland Health), the Court of Appeal heard a case pursued by Ms Chivers, who was employed as a registered nurse with Queensland Health (QH). She had an acquired brain injury from a horse riding accident in 2004. As a result of her accident, she experienced headaches and nausea and was unable to work night shifts. 

QH initially accommodated her working requirements. However, despite QH's apparent support of Ms Chivers, her probationary period was extended on three separate occasions, ostensibly to allow an assessment of her ability to work nights. Eventually, after one year, Ms Chivers resigned and claimed that QH had discriminated against her by failing to confirm her employment. 

In its defence, QH argued that working nights was a 'general occupational requirement' for registered nurses who were employed in 24/7 wards, and that Ms Chivers failed to comply. But Ms Chivers presented evidence of other nurses in permanent employment who were not required to work across all shifts, despite being employed in the same 24/7 wards. 

The Court of Appeal held that the ability to work across all shifts was not a genuine occupational requirement. 

Although there can be specific challenges when working with people suffering from an acquired brain injury, this does not mean that they can or should be discriminated against in the workforce - including when it comes to conducting workplace investigations. 

What is an acquired brain injury?

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is the term used for any brain damage, which is sustained after birth. Causes include physical head trauma, strokes, brain tumours, brain infections, alcohol and drug abuse or neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease. This term is used to describe both permanent and temporary injuries. 

Those suffering from an ABI are likely to experience ongoing difficulties with: 

  • Concentration
  • Processing information at speed
  • Fatigue
  • Memory
  • Problem Solving and lateral thinking
  • Organisation of thoughts and activities 
  • Planning
  • Self-control and monitoring
  • Insight into personal behaviours
  • Emotional lability
  • Restlessness (physical and emotional) 

tips for managers of employees with an abi

Perhaps the greatest potential challenges are difficulties with memory, cognition and communication. When communicating with people with a disability, it is important for managers not to focus on the potential restrictions of their employees, but to consider how to get the best out of their workers. 

In the context of an ABI, this is likely to take the form of:

  • Flexible working arrangements, such as part-time or reduced hours, or the ability to call in sick with short notice. From a recruitment perspective, one of the best ways to ensure that everybody's needs are met is to ask potential employees who have declared an ABI to provide any assessment or medical treatment reports which could provide guidance as to their capacity and daily needs. New employees should be encouraged to undergo a work trial period, during which both employer and employee can consider what tweaks might be necessary to ensure that the arrangement works optimally for both parties. 
  • Developing appropriate risk mitigation strategies. This includes ensuring that both employer and employee are aware exactly what is and might be required of the employee with the ABI, so that their role is clear. Other strategies include making sure that workers compensation and medical leave certificates are appropriately filled in, even if the employee is required to take a lot of sick leave. This will help to ensure that events are well documented in case a dispute arises. 
  • Ensuring that instruction manuals and written directions are easily accessible and clear. People who suffer from an ABI may require frequent reminders and mnemonics to perform their job to their full ability, and facilitating this will help an employer to best unlock an employee's potential. 
  • Implementing a workplace buddy system. A dedicated buddy can not only provide ongoing emotional and personal support, but also assist with simple memory jogging and reminders when needed.

undertaking workplace investigations involVing an ABI

The difficulties inherent in the workforce for people suffering from an ABI are magnified when a workplace investigation needs to be conducted - regardless of whether the employee with an ABI is the victim, the respondent or a witness. 

In order to counter difficulties associated with an ABI, employers engaged in investigative interviewing should consider strategies including: 

  • Prior to conducting an interview with a person with an ABI as part of an investigation, the investigator should make an assessment about the witness' communication, including skills, abilities and whether they use any types of communication aids. 
  • Talk to other staff or human resources to obtain some further information that can assist in understanding how best to work with the employee with an ABI. 
  • Reducing distractions during the interview (for example, make sure the radio is turned off and there are no unnecessary staff sitting in on the interview). 
  • Using short and simple sentences to avoid confusion, especially when putting allegations to the interviewee. This should also include presenting information slowly and one bit at a time.
  • Giving frequent reminders of the next step - this is particularly important from a procedural perspective. From an employer's perspective, this is also important to avoid any allegations of abuse of process or discrimination. 
  • Being prepared to repeat information as often as necessary until the employee clearly understands what is being conveyed. 
  • When the employee is clearly distracted, ensuring that they are brought back to focus on the matter at hand. 

Interviewing an employee with an ABI is challenging and can be very difficult to get right. If you require a highly experienced interviewer to assist with a workplace investigation involving a person with an ABI, or any other disability, contact our investigations team today for expert assistance.

Complaints Management Under the NDIS

Vince Scopelliti - Wednesday, August 09, 2017

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was introduced in mid-2013 to facilitate a support system for disabled Australians. In many ways, this has begun to streamline and simplify the process whereby many thousands of Australians under the age of 65, who have sustained a permanent and residual disability, are able to access healthcare services. But what happens when the system goes wrong and complaints need to be made about behaviour occurring within the purview of the scheme?  

REGULATORY FUNCTIONS OF THE NDIS

Broadly, the NDIS is governed by the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (Cth). It is administered by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), which holds all funds in a single pool, manages funds, administers access and approves the payment of support packages. The NDIA Board, which is advised by the National Disability Insurance Scheme Independent Advisor Council, ensures the strategic direction and general performance of the NDIA. 

The NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework has been set up to ensure a nationally uniform approach as to how participants of the scheme will be assisted and supported. 

The NDIS Complaints Commissioner, the NDIS Registrar and the Senior Practitioner hold important roles in the complaints process under the NDIS.

Providers who wish to operate within the NDIS must:

  • Comply with all state and federal laws
  • Participate with the NDIS Code of Conduct
  • Engage in the NDIS Resolution Process

mandatory reporting regime

In NSW, the Disability Inclusion Act 2014 requires mandatory reporting for serious incidents of abuse or neglect of the disabled in the supported group accommodation setting. If this is suspected, an investigation must take place. 

Any such serious incidents must be reported to the NSW Ombudsman within 30 days of the incident occurring. 

In Victoria, The Department of Health and Human Services has developed a new Client Incident Management System (CIMS) to improve the safety and wellbeing of clients. In addition, they have recently established a Reportable Conduct Scheme (RCS) under the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 to improve on how organisations prevent and respond to allegations of abuse. This came into effect on 1 July 2017. 

According to the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework (released 9 December 2016), once the NDIS has been rolled out and takes effect, registered providers must notify all 'serious incidents' to the NDIS Complaints Commissioner.

These include: 

  • Fraud-related incidents
  • Alleged physical or sexual assault by an employee against a resident or scheme participant, or by one participant against another while both are in the care of a provider
  • Obvious neglect
  • Serious unexplained injury
  • The death of a scheme participant (This must be notified regardless of how the participant died)
  • Unauthorised use of restrictive practices

It is particularly important for employers to monitor staff to ensure that they are compliant with their obligations under the NDIS, and other legal frameworks.

How the ndis complaints procedure works

Generally speaking, any complaints regarding providers of NDIS-funded support systems go directly to the Commissioner, who triages cases and makes an assessment of who should deal further with the complaint. 

The Commissioner will also:

  • Investigate serious incident reports
  • Review breaches of the NDIS Code of Conduct

In order to undertake this role, the Commissioner has commensurate powers of investigation and information-sharing with appropriate industry bodies. 

In the event that the Commissioner does not wish to hear a matter, the NDIS Registrar is empowered to hear matters related to non-compliance of requisite standards by providers under the NDIS. 

Finally, the Senior Practitioner is entitled to hear matters relating to:  

  • Inappropriate or unauthorised use of a restrictive practice
  • Unmet disability support needs. 
The Commissioner is also entitled to refer matters to such external agencies as considered necessary, including the police, the Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Agency (AHPRA) or other relevant regulatory bodies. 

Individual participants of the NDIS who are self-managed can make complaints about providers directly to the Commissioner. This complaint mechanism can be utilised even if the provider is not directly registered with the NDIS. Further, complaints may be made to other industry bodies, such as AHPRA or industry-specific organisations. 

The ability to make a complaint is also not limited to recipients of services under the NDIS - any person can make a complaint about an action taken by a NDIS provider. 

A separate complaint process is required if a scheme participant is concerned about decisions made by the NDIA (as opposed to inappropriate behaviour being engaged in by a service provider). 

WHAT ARE PROVIDERS REQUIRED TO DO?

It is a requirement for NDIS providers to have in place an effective internal complaints management scheme, and they must commit to maintaining a detailed schedule of complaints received and responses proffered, specifically in order to assist the Commissioner if necessary. 

Employees who report inappropriate behaviour or otherwise raise concerns about their workplace to the Commissioner are entitled to whistleblower protections as enshrined in the relevant legislation.

WHAT HAPPENS IF A PROVIDER ISN'T COMPLIANT? 

In the event that employers or providers of NDIS-related services are not complying with the applicable Code of Conduct, the Commissioner, or the Registrar can step in to review the provider's adequacy. 

In addition to assessing providers against adherence to the Code of Conduct, the Commissioner will consider whether providers have duly complied with mandatory reporting requirements, or have otherwise had complaints made against them. 

If either the Registrar or the Commissioner determines that a breach has occurred, the provider may be required to undergo additional education and training, operate subject to various conditions, or in the worst circumstances, be excluded from participation in the NDIS. 

It is essential for providers of services under the NDIS to have a strong complaints management focus in order to ensure ongoing compliance with the requirements of the NDIS and NDIA. If your organisation has received a complaint of disability abuse or other concerns relating to your management and implementation of the NDIS, and you require assistance with a workplace investigation, contact us

When the Line Blurs: Restrictive Practices vs Assault

Harriet Witchell - Wednesday, June 14, 2017

It is well-known that certain industries, particularly those involving disability or aged care services, have a higher than average level of client-facing risk. This is in part because consumers of these services generally have higher levels of physical needs, and may also have difficulties expressing themselves clearly or consistently.  

As a result of these unique care requirements, occasionally situations may arise where restrictive practices are necessary either for the client's own safety or to protect another person. 

However, employers and care workers must ensure that their actions do not exceed reasonable restrictive practices and slip into behaviours or acts, which could be considered assault.   

WHAT ARE RESTRICTIVE PRACTICES?

According to the Australian Law Reform Commission, the definition of 'restrictive practices' are actions which effectively restrict the rights or freedom of movement of a person with a disability.

This could include physical restraint (such as holding somebody down), mechanical restraint (for example, with the use of a device intendend to restrict, prevent or subdue movement), chemical restraint (using sedative drugs), or social restraint (verbal interactions or threats of sanctions). 

Restrictive practices are intended to used in situations where a person is demonstrating concerning, or potentially threatening behaviours. In the disability services context, this may involve people with significant intellectual or psychological impairments, but no or limited physical impairments, meaning that threats of violence could be credible and have significant effects.

Although restrictive practices are currently legal in Australia, according to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) factsheet, they do not currently constitute 'best practice' for disability support.

KEY CONCERNS WITH RESTRICTIVE PRACTICES

As with any situation where the personal liberty of people is affected, the use of restrictive practices can blur into the use of inappropriate levels of force and potentially even expose the disability worker to accusations of assault. 

While the greatest concern with restrictive practices would be the possibility of disabled persons being intentionally abused, it is very easy for the line between restrictive practices to be unintentionally blurred. 

Although assault is defined slightly differently in each Australian state and territory under criminal law legislation, broadly, the offence involves circumstances where intentional and unwanted physical force or contact is used against another person. It can also include verbal behaviours, which are considered threatening. 

While the line between the use of restrictive practices and assault may not be immediately clear, conduct is unlikely to be considered to be an assault if it can be demonstrated that the actions taken, even if they involved the use of physical force, were necessary to avoid violence or any risk of harm.

    WHAT IF AN ALLEGATION OF ASSAULT DOES ARISE?

    The provision of disability services is a challenging industry at the best of times. It's important to ensure that your team is using restrictive practices appropriately and in the right circumstances to avoid any allegations of assault. 

    Any employers who are advised of accusations of assault must undertake a full workplace investigation in order to fulfil their dual obligations to their employees and to their clients. 

    At WISE Workplace, we have experience in the disability and aged care sectors, and our team can assist in all aspects of workplace investigations.   

    A Perplexing Problem: Protecting Children Overseas

    Harriet Witchell - Thursday, April 20, 2017


    Every year billions of Australian dollars are provided to fund aid projects overseas. The money is targeted to assist developing countries with education, housing, health and community projects. Naturally children are a prime target group for these aid programs.  The majority of these organisations are funded by the Australian public via donations and government funding provided to not-for-profit organisations, many of them faith based organisations.

    International rules and expectations govern the protocols for handling and responding to allegations related to child protection, however, enforcing these laws is a tricky business often involving multiple jurisdictions and multiple agencies who may disagree around responsibilities and liabilities.

    Policies and procedures are not enough to protect children who are by definition amongst the most vulnerable in the world.

    Small operations, voluntary management and high dependency on the goodwill of front end service delivery mitigate against strong child protection regimes. Poor oversight due to long distance, remoteness and cultural differences are also key features of this problem.

    Funding bodies in Australia are expected to have high quality child protection systems and policies in place to gain government funding but the challenge of enforcing or even providing adequate training in the expectations to the end providers of the service can be beyond reach.

    Now that we know that we cannot unquestioningly depend on the nature of goodly people to act without harming children, what cost do we place on the need to provide secure safe environments for children receiving charitable services?

    Documents provided to the Guardian relating to the level of abuse within detention centres on Nauru demonstrate the abject failure of outsourced government funded programs. How then do we expect small voluntary projects to be faring against these standards?

    It is clear that policies and procedures are woefully inadequate yet how much of the donated money do we want spent on compliance when it comes to protecting children?

    WISE Workplace is regularly requested to undertake investigations of allegations made against staff overseas who are working or administering charitable projects. The work requires a high level understanding of the environment, the agency, funding requirements, boards and community management structures, and the local culture and cultural background of staff and service recipients. The work remains some of the most challenging to investigate. Weak employment relationships can lead to inconclusive outcomes and an inability to enforce any restrictions on volunteers in the field.

    For those organisations with managers in Australia trying to manage complaints or allegations arising from activities overseas, using the support of experienced investigators can be a godsend melding the investigative skills of experienced child protection investigators with the cultural and service delivery expertise of the coordinators working for the agency.

    Our top 10 list of must do’s if you are a coordinator of a charity funded project overseas:

    1. Nominate a single contact person with responsibility for dealing with complaints related to child protection within your agency

    2. Have clearly articulated Child Protection Standards and Guidelines

    3. Have clearly articulated procedures for dealing with complaints

    4. Understand the criminal law in the country of service delivery

    5. Understand the employee relationship between the funding body and the service providers on the ground

    6. Know your legal obligations under your primary funding agency agreement

    7. Respond quickly to complaints

    8. Conduct a risk assessment and take protective action if necessary

    9. Identify a suitable contact person on the ground in the foreign country to be a liaison pain

    10. Seek specialist help when complaints are serious or complex to investigate.

    WISE Workplace runs regular training programs on the principles of undertaking workplace investigations. Our facilitators have extensive experience and expertise in managing all kinds of challenging investigations including running operations overseas via Skype using local contacts. Our unique Investigating Abuse in Care course provides valuable skills in how to assess complaints, reporting obligations, drafting allegations, interviewing victims and respondents, making decisions and maintaining procedural fairness. Book now for courses in May 2017.

    Does the NDIS Complaints System Have Enough Reach?

    Harriet Witchell - Wednesday, March 08, 2017


    For those vulnerable people across Australia living with disability, the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has been heralded as a much-needed security net. And for those caring for disabled individuals, the NDIS provides a framework for sustainable care arrangements. 
     
    In many ways, the introduction of the NDIS is the ultimate ‘good news’ story. Essential services and funds for disabled individuals can now be accessed. Particularly, the types of care that exhausted families have provided around the clock can now be augmented by paid carers under the scheme. 

    Yet such a vast and complex scheme necessarily requires safeguards against unfortunate phenomena that can arise in care environments, such as child abuse, elder abuse or other forms of abuse by carers. 

    A responsive and effective complaints system is an essential adjunct to the NDIS, which will eventually sustain some 460,000 disabled Australians under the age of 65. As at February, 61,000 Australians have been brought into the scheme.

    How the NDIS complaints system operates

    The NDIS complaints system is intended to help participants in the scheme provide feedback, or make complaints about their own experiences or the system in general.   

    There is some concern, however, that the complaints system is a somewhat toothless watchdog. Individuals suffering with a disability can lodge a formal complaint about a care provider, for example, but the care provider can at most be removed from the list of scheme-approved providers. There is no mechanism under the system for more significant sanctions.    

    This may be appropriate in circumstances where the care provider has simply provided poor treatment or has an unpleasant manner or clash of personalities with the recipient of care, but falls far short of the mark in circumstances where, for example, there is abuse or unexplained injury.  

    On such occasions, the scheme participant may have to look to other procedures to try and address any serious grievances.

    What other mechanisms for complaint are available?

    In NSW, if a person living with a disability in a residential facility suffers a reportable incident at the hands of a care service provider, that incident must be investigated and reported to the appropriate Ombudsman, in accordance with the Ombudsman Act 1974.

    A reportable incident includes the commission of sexual offences or misconduct (including those committed in the presence of the person suffering the disability), assault, fraud or financial abuse, and ill-treatment or neglect by a carer. Unexplained injuries also fall within the same category of reportable incidents.  

    However, this only covers those clients who are living in residential care – and misses the many participants of the NDIS who rely only on in-home services.  Similarly, there is no legislation which provides any requirement for a ‘suitability to work with disability services’ check, unlike the child protection legislation now effective in NSW, the ACT and Victoria. 

    Those utilising aged care services are able to rely on national reporting schemes, but regrettably even a carer who has been conclusively found to be abusive or otherwise guilty of misconduct is not restricted from being able to obtain employment with another care service provider in the future.
     

    Effectiveness of the system still uncertain

    Given the potential risks of abuse within the system of allocating a carer to a disabled Australian, it is essential that the NDIS is paired with an effective and efficient complaint and resolution scheme. 

    Ultimately, the current NDIS complaint service has significant room for growth before it can be considered to be effectively safeguarding the rights of disabled Australians. True improvement will play out most importantly by imposing greater penalties and consequences on carers who are found to have transgressed against their clients in any serious fashion. 

    As the NDIS matures as a scheme, it is to be hoped that many teething issues with the complaint management system will be ironed out naturally.  

    However effective investigation of incidents relating to abuse as soon as they are reported or otherwise come to light will remain the most important safeguard of the rights of disabled Australians, along with general prevention of potential abuse or misconduct by carers through a strong governance and policy regime.   Contact us about our specialised Investigating Abuse in Care training courses.  

    Information Sharing and Child Abuse - A Continuing Issue

    Harriet Witchell - Wednesday, March 23, 2016

     

    This month the NSW Ombudsman hosted a forum reflecting on the past 16 years of Reportable Conduct legislation in NSW.

    With over 800 attendees, the gathering represented an exceptional group of people with a wealth of expertise in this sensitive and tricky area.

    Key messages from the group included the need for:

    • Improvements in information sharing between agencies
    • Widening the legislation to include sporting groups and religious orders
    • A national Working With Children check system, rather than state based
    • A national register for the suitability of employment with children
    • Greater protection for the disabled

    The resounding need to make the system work better and provide comprehensive protection for all Australian children was

    a national system of information sharing and

    actual practical information sharing between agencies

    WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM IDENTIFIEd?
    Privacy legislation requires that organisations do not share personnel records. Whilst steps have been taken to enable information sharing between agencies in NSW these only apply where a current risk exists to children, and they remain inadequate and slow.

    Name changes, spelling errors, data entry, human error and overwhelming fear of breaching the privacy act seem to be the main causes of a lack of information sharing particularly by the larger agencies such as the Police and Family and Community Services.

    providing information to policE

    Currently organisations are expected to make reports to police of any suspected child abuse or Reportable Conduct.  The police, however, are not so good at returning the favour when agencies are trying to investigate non-criminal reportable conduct of their own.

    What do the police do with your information?

    •  Police will receive information about a crime but they won’t give it out (Privacy restrictions)
    •  Police won’t necessarily act on the information provided
    • With no formal complaint from the victim, police won’t act
    •  With no likelihood of a conviction police won’t necessarily investigate
    So if your victim is non-verbal, young, disadvantaged, unsupported, suffering from metal illness, has behavioural difficulties or has low self-esteem, their complaint may not be investigated.

    In fact, if your victim has all the characteristics of a child likely to become the target of a paedophile, they are less likely to be successful in a criminal prosecution.  This is no coincidence.

    This is why the legislation on reportable conduct is so important. By extending the definitions of acceptable behaviour of people who work with children and lowering the standard of proof - early patterns of behaviour known to be linked to serious sexual offending such as grooming and breaching professional boundaries  can be identified and individuals can be permanently barred from working with children – in NSW.

    This legislation ensures  the protection of many times more children than the criminal justice system and actually prevents offenders having access to children.

     

    In many ways it is far superior to the criminal justice system

    in providing actual protection and preventing abuse.

     

    Under the criminal justice system, child abuse remains difficult to prosecute and difficult to convict.  It is unnecessarily burdensome on the victims of abuse putting them through protracted and distressing criminal trials and appeal processes.

    The NSW forum presented compelling arguments for the need for improved information sharing between all agencies in addition to not just a state based criminal records check but a national one and a national register of suitability to work with children.

    There are high expectations that the Royal Commission into Institutional response to Child Sexual Abuse will recommend Australia wide legislation similar to that in NSW.  Let’s hope it is a seamless system that stops people slipping through the cracks!

    If you have a workplace complaint and you're not sure how you should respond to it, or you would like to discuss how we can help build capacity within your organisation to respond to complaints  - WISE Workplace provides high quality specialist investigators to conduct workplace related investigations into abuse of children, people with a disability and the elderly. We have been working with Reportable Conduct legislation since it’s inception in 2001. Call us to discuss how our services may be able to help your organisation develop a response and systems that protect your clients.  Give us a call on 1300 580 685.

    For more guidance on your obligations to report and respond to incidents of child abuse, The Institute of Community Directors Australia produced this excellent Child Protection Toolkit in January 2016 to assist not for profit agencies.

     

    Link to toolkit.


    We can learn much from a recent court case

    Jill McMahon - Wednesday, May 01, 2013

    Court cases can provide valuable insights into the way people behave at work – and lessons for everyone on how to prevent workplace disputes degenerating into bullying and discrimination.

    More specifically, directors of organisations should be aware of the risks of vicarious liability; when people they employ to manage others break the law.

    A recent case, Burns vs Media Options Group, is instructive; the Federal Court ordered the company to pay a former employee more than $100,000 in damages and interest for breaching both the Disability Discrimination Act and the Sex Discrimination Act.

    The dispute started when an employee, a printer, had to start caring for his partner after she had contracted a rare form of terminal cancer. He took her to medical appointments and was the only person available to help her cope with her illness.

    The business manager and his wife, who was also an employee, disapproved of this because it affected the business’ operation.

    The manager told the employee to “get rid of” his partner, pressured him not to leave work until he had finished the tasks allocated to him, berated him for being late for work and being unavailable to work overtime, as well as making derogatory comments about his partner.
    In addition, the manager’s wife told the employee he was “stupid”, that she was “sick of his problems”, and he had cost them money.

    Ultimately, they dismissed him in November 2005 – in the presence of two police officers - for reasons that the court later found to have been fabricated to justify the dismissal.
    Judge Nicholls awarded the employee $10,000 in aggravated damages because the manager and his wife – who both later became directors of the company - had acted “high-handedly, maliciously, insultingly or oppressively in committing the act of discrimination.”

    He rejected counter-complaints by the company that the employee had made racial comments, sexually harassed staff, was violent and drank at work, noting that the company had not pursued such allegations in separate proceedings.

    Section 15(2) of the Disability Discrimination Act makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee because of the disability of an employee's associate. This can include a spouse or someone living with them on a "genuine domestic basis".

    In addition, an employer will have breached the Sex Discrimination Act if they discriminate against an employee on the grounds of family responsibilities or if the employer treated the employee less favourably than an employee without such responsibilities.

    While plans to consolidate anti-discrimination legislation have been delayed, the government has introduced amendments to the Sex Discrimination Act to include discrimination against sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status.

    Wise Workplace helps mediate workplace disputes as well as conducting investigations into allegations of misconduct.