Night shifts a genuine occupational requirement for continuous shift workers

By Victoria Hepburn, Sara McRostie and Brett Nissen

In a claim for disability discrimination, the Queensland Court of Appeal has confirmed that the ability to work night shifts was a genuine occupational requirement for a registered nurse who was engaged in roles that provided 24/7 care.

In dismissing the registered nurse’s appeal, the court found it was lawful for the employer to require the registered nurse to be capable of complying with its rostering system, which included the requirement to work night shifts, even though she had a medical condition that made it unsafe for her to work at night.

Accordingly, the nurse’s employer, Queensland Health, had not engaged in unlawful disability discrimination under the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991…

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