Nurse and single mum loses discrimination case

A MACKAY nurse has lost a discrimination case against her employer Hastings Deering which she claimed failed to consider her family responsibilities as a single mother of two children.

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal found Nicole Lynette McIntyre could not comply with the terms of a new roster as a health and safety adviser at Hastings Park in Mackay.

QCAT member Ann Fitzpatrick said it was highly unlikely anyone could find a nanny or childcare centre in a regional area like Mackay that could cover the hours needed in the new roster.

She said any suggestion Ms McIntyre could work the proposed roster, and was being unreasonable, was "simply ignorant of the needs of young children and their demands on their mother".

"Indeed it is hard to imagine a work roster more difficult to comply with if one has the sole care of very young children," she said.

But Ms Fitzpatrick said, despite the "failing" of the company in its employee relations, she found Hastings Deering did have some logical and understandable basis for moving to an eight days on - six days off roster, in

order to provide seven days of nursing coverage

"I am conscious that it is not the role of the tribunal to interfere with legitimate business decisions taken on rational grounds," she said.

"For these reasons, weighing an imperfect, but rational business decision, against the loss of a job by a sole parent of young children, I am compelled to find in favour of (the company).

"The proposed roster is not so extreme or ill-suited to the work of the nurses at Hastings Deering that it cannot be justified."

A judgment published online this week noted the new roster came into place after two major Mackay incidents involving workers losing fingers in early 2012.

Ms McIntyre believed if she did not comply with the new roster, the company would terminate her employment.



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