Teacher discriminated over 'lifestyle choice'


A BRISBANE teacher claims she was told by her Christian school employer she couldn’t take sick leave to visit an IVF clinic because it was “self-inflicted” by her sexuality.

Jayne and her wife are now expecting a baby but three years ago it was a different story.

The 29-year-old was early into her career working at a Brisbane Christian school where she says many other staff planning a family were allowed to use their sick-leave entitlements for fertility treatment.

Jayne’s employer would not give her leave to have IVF saying she was ineligible because of her sexuality. Picture: Jamie Hanson

Jayne’s employer would not give her leave to have IVF saying she was ineligible because of her sexuality. Picture: Jamie Hanson

When Jayne and her wife decided to try for a baby in 2015, she approached her boss and asked to take time off to attend an IVF clinic.

Jayne said she was advised the leadership team of the school would have to hold a meeting to discuss the issue and they later declined her request.

“The first thing they said was you’re not unfit for work, it’s more self-inflicted,” she said. “When I argued that I had had medical reasons beside my relationship, they said: ‘You’re also within a lifestyle choice making this more necessary’.”

Jayne said she was angered by the fact leave and reduced hours had been “offered to others” at the school going through IVF that she started looking for another job.

“What my issue was, was that different rulings had been made for others on the basis of their relationships,” she said.

Jayne left the school about 18 months later.

She took holidays for the IVF treatment and is now expecting her first child in a few months. “I wish that I had got out sooner. Even though my partner and I do consider ourselves to be with a faith background it turned us off ever investing in private education,” Jayne said.

“For individuals, I think you have to really weight up whether it’s worth disclosing that you’re doing IVF to your employer because, in my experience, it’s very inflexible.”

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