Central West Health & Rehabilitation
P: (08)9965 0697 F: (08)9964 7528


When you can lawfully discriminate based on age? Nov 24th, 2014
While an employer is unable to discriminate against a person based on their age, work health and safety laws in Australia and other jurisdictions also require employers to provide a "safe system of work". For example, section 19 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 states that the "primary duty of care" is to "ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers" by, among other things, "provision and maintenance of safe systems of work".

Therefore, if an employee cannot fulfil the inherent requirements of a job due to age related physical or mental change, an employer is ‘obligated’ to, for lack of a better word, discriminate based on age.

To ensure that such discrimination is lawful, you must:

  1. be sure that the person cannot perform the essential tasks of the job; and

  2. determine that any inability to perform the essential tasks of the job is due to the person’s age , i.e. not because they lack training, qualifications or experience.

Pre-employment physical assessments provide vital information for such decisions, and will find more and more value as our workforce gradually ages over the coming 2-3 decades.

Controlling the incidence of work-related injuries is economically important and important for the individual employee. Injuries occurring on the job can result in life-altering consequences to workers who depend on their physical well being for their livelihood.

Only 2% of individuals with back injuries who have been off work for more than 2 years will ever return to gainful employment. The loss of the ability to work can have a devastating consequence on not only the injured individual but also his or her entire family.

We have significant experience providing and designing pre-employment physical assessments. Contact us for more.