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Post-pandemic Workplace Design and the Plight of Employees with Invisible Disabilities: Is Australian Labour Law and Anti-Discrimination Legislation Equipped to Address New and Emerging Workplace Inequalities?


Angelo Capuano

In 2020 and 2021 the COVID-19 pandemic reshaped the way we work. To help contain the virus employees made a mass migration from working in offices to working remotely from home, but this mass shift to working from home is expected to have a lasting impact on workplace design. Post-pandemic workplaces are expected to be increasingly ‘hybrid’ and use shared workspaces to permit worker fluidity between the office and the home. This article argues that shared and fluid working arrangements significantly disadvantage employees with ‘invisible’ disability in various ways, yet the outdated design of Australian labour law and anti-discrimination law is ill-equipped to deal with these new and emerging inequalities in the workplace. This article proposes law reform and policy solutions designed to enhance ‘person-environment fit’ in workplaces, which may help prevent these inequalities from arising in the post-pandemic world of work.

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(2022) 45(2) UNSWLJ 873: