Alcock v TNT Australia P/L t/a TNT Express. U2014/11580. [2014] FWC 9120. Wilson C


In what appears to be a common theme from the FWC of late, if you can’t meet the job requirements, the FWC can’t help:


  • Applicant suffered from injuries which restricted physical abilities
  • Results from physical and functional assessment demonstrated applicant unable to perform heavy lifting duties.
  • Found that respondent investigated whether any suitable alternative roles available.
  • Unable to offer suitable alternative.
  • Requirements of position were predominantly composed of manual tasks.
  • Respondent’s requirements for those tasks set out in document outlining physical demands [my emphasis].
  • Practical method of determining whether or not requirement inherent to ask whether position would be essentially the same if requirement dispensed with.
  • Inherent requirement includes ability to perform duties without unreasonable risk to health and safety or health and safety of others.
  • Commission found applicant unable to perform inherent requirements of position. Satisfied valid reason for termination, dismissal not unfair – application dismissed.




Another reason we have position descriptions that include a “physical demands” section.

Greg Reiffel Industrial Relations & Human Resources Consulting has been providing the following services to businesses for over 30 years:


  • General HR and IR advisory service.
  • Fair Work Commission representation (eg unfair dismissals, adverse actions, etc.).
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  • Policies and procedures.
  • Discipline & Termination.
  • People Audits (are you at risk of prosecution?).
  • Enterprise Agreements, Contracts of Employment, Individual Flexibility Agreements.
  • On-site HR services.

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