QMEB » Authority could protect Qld mine workers’ ‘irrelevant’ medical records, right to not be a ‘punching bag’
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Authority could protect Qld mine workers’ ‘irrelevant’ medical records, right to not be a ‘punching bag’

Rio Tinto female worker
A female worker

Queensland resources employees may soon enjoy greater privacy and safety at work.

State Parliament recently proposed new rules that remove the requirement for crew members to disclose “irrelevant” medical records. This means jobseekers might not be forced to disclose their whole personal medical history when applying for roles, especially when it has nothing to do with the job.

“[The Respect at Work and Other Matters Amendment Bill is] reversing a widespread practice among industries such as mining … where workers are required to disclose personal medical records to secure a job interview, regardless of their relevance for the job at hand,” Queensland Council of Unions general secretary Jacqueline King said in a public statement.

The Bill also protects every worker’s right to feel “safe, valued and supported” from being repeatedly abused on mine sites due to gender, race, age, impairments, beliefs and sexuality.

“Employees will be able to feel safe, valued and supported, meaning they can work to their potential but let us be clear – no Queenslander should think it is okay to use a worker as a punching bag simply because they do not like what they are being told,” State Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Yvette D’Ath said.

Other changes include:

  • prohibiting harassment based on sex
  • prohibiting people being subjected to hostile work environments on the grounds of sex
  • new positive obligations for all employers to take reasonable and proportionate measures to eliminate discrimination, sexual harassment and other conduct banned by the Anti-Discrimination Act.

“What is often overlooked is discriminatory behaviour in the workplace impacts [on] productivity,” D’Ath said.

Click here to read the full legislation wording.

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