Date: 13 January 2022
Court: Queensland Industrial Relations Commission
Judicial Officer: Power IC
Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) Sections: ss 15, 17, 21, 23, 25, 58 and 59
Rights Considered: Right to recognition and equality before the law; Right to protection from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; Right to freedom of expression; Taking part in public life; Right to privacy and reputation
Other Legislation: Industrial Relations Act 2016 (Qld) ss 562B, 562C; Public Service Act 2008 (Qld) ss 27, 28, 194
Keywords: Education, Training, Employment

The appellant sought a review of the respondent’s decision not to promote him. Both the appellant and respondent referred to the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) in their submissions but the Act was not substantively discussed by the Commission.

Mr Allan Dale (‘the appellant’) was employed in the role of an AO6 Principal Inspector within the Labour Hire Licensing Compliance Unit, Business Services Unit and applied for an advertised position within the same Unit for an AO7 Lead Inspector. The successful applicants chosen by the respondent did not include the appellant and the appellant appealed this promotion decision.

The appellant submitted that the respondent breached the appellant's human rights by failing to afford him recognition and equality before the law (s 15), failing to afford him protection from being humiliated (s 17), impacting his right to freedom of expression (s 21), denying his right to take part in public life (s 23) and attacking his reputation (s 25): at [25].

The respondent submitted that in basing his appeal on “unfairness” rather than an independent ground of “unlawfulness” as required by section 59 of the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld), he could not be afforded the relief or remedy sought. The respondent also submitted that the rights under sections 15, 17, 21, 23 and 25 of the Act had not been engaged, essentially contending that the appellant had not been treated in the manner in which he had depicted: at [27].

The Commission determined that the relevant process of recruitment and selection at the subject of the appeal was conducted in accordance with Directive 12/20 Recruitment and Selection and the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld). As such, there was no substantive discussion of the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld).

The respondent’s decision was confirmed and the appeal was dismissed.

Visit the judgment: Dale v State of Queensland (Office of Industrial Relations) [2022] QIRC