QLD Friend Listed as Abandoning Employment While on Sick Leave - Unfair Dismissal?

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now


26 October 2015
I have a friend diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. She was a full-time manager for a well know electrical goods store. She got too sick to work and the company, not wanting to be flexible, put her to part time, then transferred her out of the store. She was then again diagnosed in 2012 and couldn't work. She returned in 2013 as a part time.

One manager left and another took over, who pretty much pushed her out the door, as she was tired and could only do minimal work loads, again no flexibility from the company. She decided to take unpaid leave and study part time. She tried to contact them on numerous occasions when her studies had finished to discuss returning to work, and they couldn't guarantee their flexibility so she stayed on sick leave and concentrated on recovery and healing.

It was until she recently moved houses that the real estate had checked her employment and it came back as her abandoning her employment. Nothing had changed- phone numbers, email, next of kin etc. except the change of address which had a mail redirection on it.

No manager or HR has made any attempt to contact her. What I would like to know is are they in the wrong under Employment Law? Is there anything that can be done to take it off her record and does this come under an unfair dismissal or some type of discrimination?

Thank you.

Serge Gorval

Well-Known Member
LawTap Verified
2 November 2015
I imagine that the "abandonment" took effect over 21 days which means that either a UD or GP claim will be out of time and exceptional circumstances must be demonstrated ( difficult), however your friend could have a claim under the AHRC or through the state discrimination board and from what you describe seem to be good prospects to me.