Compensation order against Queensland Health overturmed

A $20,700 compensation order against Queensland Health for treatment of an Ipswich nurse, who could not work nightshifts because of impairment, has been overturned on appeal.

Rebecca Louise Chivers claimed her employer's conduct violated the Anti-Discrimination Act when they extended her probation period three times on a graduate nursing rotation at Ipswich and Laidley Hospitals and would not confirm her employment as a nurse.

Ms Chivers sustained a closed head injury in 2004, but she still attained her goal to become a nurse when she graduated at age 33 in 2007.

She resigned in February, 2009, alleging she received less favourable treatment because of impairment arising from the acquired brain injury.

Ms Chivers argued she resigned after suffering "humiliation, distress and a significant loss of career opportunities".

But Judicial Member James Thomas has now overturned the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal's original decision.

Mr Thomas said, in a judgment published this week, that the original member had erred in her interpretation and focus on elements of the act.

QCAT member Ann Fitzpatrick also reviewed the case but disagreed with Mr Thomas on whether Ms Chivers was engaged to work continuous shift work and the relevance of the governing award.

She said she would have dismissed Queensland Health's appeal but the legislation meant Mr Thomas' decision overruled her findings.


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