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Implications of Genetic Testing for Australian Employment Law and Practice


Otlowski, MFA, Implications of Genetic Testing for Australian Employment Law and Practice, University of Tasmania, Hobart, pp. 96. (2001) [Authored Other Book]


This paper is in the form of a report prepared on behalf of our research team (Professor Don Chalmers, Professor Loane Skene, Associate Professor Margaret Otlowski and Dr Dianne Nicol) as part of a project, funded by the Australian Research Council, to investigate the legal and ethical implications of the human genome project from an Australian perspective. The focus of this report is an examination of the implications of the human genome project for Australian employment law and practice. A separate report, exploring the impact of genetics developments in the area of insurance law and practice has also been published.

This report follows on from a discussion paper, which was sent to organisations and individuals having an interest in the area for their comment - our group taking the view that this research should be informed by consultation with the key stakeholders. Those consulted included prominent geneticists and other health care professionals working in the field of genetics, organisations representing people with genetic disabilities, the presiding officers of the Commonwealth, State and Territory Anti-Discrimination Tribunals, and organisations representing employers and employees. As a result of this targeted consultation process, in cross-section of the individuals and groups that we had approached. It is noteworthy, however, that there was only a modest response rate from organisations representing employers and employees, suggesting that unions and employer organisations do not regard these matters to be of immediate practical concern in Australia.

Our group is indebted to those who spent time on replying to the circulated discussion paper. We have drawn on the advice, comments and insights of the various respondents in developing our recommendations and this input has been invaluable in the finalisation of the report. A list of those from whom we received responses is attached to this report (Appendix 1).

The issues of access to genetic information by employers and the use that can legitimately be made of such information have already attracted significant attention in the United Kingdom, the United States and many European countries. In some instances, this has resulted in guidelines, recommendations and/or legislation. This report explores the legal and ethical issues within the Australian employment context and makes a number of recommendations.

Item Details

Item Type:Authored Other Book
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Public law
Research Field:Public law not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Justice and the law not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Otlowski, MFA (Professor Margaret Otlowski)
ID Code:23606
Year Published:2001
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2001-08-01
Last Modified:2014-02-05

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