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Understand your rights and responsibilities in the workplace

Brought to you by….

Mental Health Workplace Health Alliance

What are my rights?

  • The right to protection from discrimination: If you have a mental health condition, certain laws protect you against discrimination in the workplace. The Australia-wide Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) and equivalent state and territory laws make it unlawful to discriminate against, harass or victimise people with disabilities – including in an employment context. People with a mental health condition are entitled to adjustments to their role provided they can still meet the core requirements of the job.
  • The right to privacy: If you tell your employer you have a mental health condition, they can’t disclose this information to anyone without your consent (unless there’s a risk to yourself or others). Your right to privacy is covered by the Australia-wide Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and similar legislation in some states and territories.
  • The right to a healthy, safe workplace: Workplace health and safety (WH&S) legislation requires employers to ensure that workplaces are both physically and mentally healthy. Steps must be taken to ensure that the working environment does not harm mental wellbeing or aggravate an existing condition.

What are my responsibilities?

If your mental health condition does not affect how you do your job, you have no legal obligation to tell your employer about it. This applies whether you are a current employee, or a potential employee going through the recruitment process.

WH&S laws protect your right to a safe workplace, but you also have responsibilities under the same legislation. You must take care of yourself and others and cooperate with your employer in matters of health and safety.

Creating a mentally healthy workplace is not the responsibility of one person. It requires the commitment and involvement of all staff across the organisation. Together, you can create a supportive, responsive and productive working environment that benefits everyone.

The Heads Up team

Connect with like-minded peers on our Heads Up LinkedIn page or beyondblue’s Facebook page for current discussions and updates on how to create a mentally healthy workplace