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Public Service Commission

Anti-discrimination laws

Details on the laws governing discrimination in the workplace.

NSW public sector agencies must comply with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) and the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW). It is important to ensure all staff, including those with disability, feel included and treated at fairly at work. 

Both these Acts protect people with disability from discriminatory treatment in a range of areas including:  

  • employment 
  • the recruitment process
  • conditions of employment including necessary workplace adjustments
  • opportunities for training or promotion 
  • dismissal. 

Direct and indirect discrimination

Under both the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) and the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW), discrimination may be direct or indirect. Direct disability discrimination is when you are treated unfairly because of your disability. Indirect disability discrimination is when a requirement that is the same for everyone unfairly affects people with disability. 

A failure to make appropriate accommodations for a person with disability, so that they can work or participate equally, could amount to direct or indirect discrimination. 

For further information about the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) and Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW), you should seek advice within your agency and/or contact the Australian Human Rights Commission (regarding the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)) or Anti-Discrimination NSW (regarding the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW)). The Australian Human Rights Commission and Anti-Discrimination NSW may be able to provide further guidance to agencies about what adjustments may be necessary to assist with the employment of people with disability.