Dear Lifehacker, I am short-sighted and cannot obtain a driver’s licence. Many ICT-based jobs I am applying for state in their requirements: “must have own vehicle and licence”. Is this discrimination? Can I do anything about it? Thanks, Driven To Distraction
Image from anaperugini
Once again into the law books, which means that I should preface this by saying that I’m about as much of a lawyer as Lionel Hutz is, and depending on precise criteria it may be worth tracking down an actual lawyer.
With that out of the way, however, while it is quite patently illegal to openly discriminate against a potential employee on the basis of physical disability, amongst other factors, there is a particular “out” that probably applies in this case.
The Fair Work Act 2009 allows for circumstances that may not constitute discrimination, and one of those circumstances is where an action “is based on the inherent requirements of the particular position concerned”.
As such, if the position itself genuinely requires you to have both vehicle and licence as part of the ongoing duties of the position, then they’re probably — bearing in mind the law says “may” — entitled to insist upon it as a prerequisite of the job.
It may be worth checking precisely what the job conditions are, because some workplaces may be flexible in this regard. If it’s an ICT job that requires you to drive to multiple locations for support or installation duties at any given time, however, you may find yourself out of luck.
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