Not suitable for job because of mental health conditions

May 2023

Sarah applied for a job as a community care worker with an aged care provider. She had previous experience in similar roles with other employers.

Sarah was interviewed for the position and felt it went well. It went longer than the allocated time and she felt the interviewers reacted positively to her responses. During the interview, Sarah disclosed that she lived with anxiety and depression. 

Sarah progressed to the next stage of recruitment, providing further information and submitting to a police check and pre-employment medical.

A week later, Sarah got an email advising her that she didn’t get the job. When she rang the employer for an explanation, she says she was advised that her level of anxiety and depression made her unsuitable for the position.

Sarah lodged a complaint of disability discrimination with ADNSW.

When ADNSW investigated the complaint, the employer denied that Sarah’s disability was the reason she didn’t get the job. The employer said that Sarah’s responses to some questions raised concerns about her ability to maintain appropriate boundaries with clients. They apologised for any miscommunication of its reasons for not employing Sarah.

The complaint was resolved at a conciliation conference, with the employer agreeing to pay Sarah financial compensation of $5,000, provide anti-discrimination training to its recruitment team, and review its recruitment process and policies on anti-discrimination.

Last updated:

24 May 2023

Was this content useful?
We will use your rating to help improve the site.
Please don't include personal or financial information here
Please don't include personal or financial information here

We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the ongoing connection Aboriginal people have to this land and recognise Aboriginal people as the original custodians of this land.

Top Return to top of page Top