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Performance managed

Community Member

My son is being performance managed at work. The company knows of his crippling anxiety/ panic attacks but the new HR officer wants full details of his condition from his psychiatrist and said she didn’t have anything on record. (It was sent by his psych to his manager last year) Is this allowed?


He has asked to wfh to care for my partner who has just been diagnosed with a severe illness which startwd the downhill spiral. They replied with a PM plan (and said no to the carers leave at the bottom of the email)  but he was welcome to take annual leave. 

He is now on sick leave as this has kicked off a major episode.


are they allowed to do any of this? Where can we go for help? 

6 Replies 6

Community Champion
Community Champion

hello and welcome.


my understanding is the only way the company could get that information is with the consent of the client (in this case... your son. And they could not be able to discriminate on the basis of not getting this information.


That said, there may be certain situations where accommodations are necessary for the employee, but not sure if they requires  access to all the records is needed. It is a tricky one! 


With that said (clear as mud!) it seems that your son cares very much for you and your partner that he is willing to work from home.  Unfortunately there are plenty of people around these days that would not do that. 😞  For getting more information you could try ...


  • The Australian Human Rights Commission
  • The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
  • Legal Aid
  • Mental Health Advocacy Service

Each of these groups can be reached by phone or website and should be able to give you advice on what you can do or what is possible etc.


Sorry I could not be of much more help.

  • Thank you 

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hey Peejaybee


Im sorry about your son's anxiety attacks. I understand his pain as I have worked in similar environments with chronic anxiety disorder since 1983


Im not a lawyer yet your son's medical records are private and any request to see them would be a serious breach of his rights under the privacy act.


They can ask questions pertaining to his job performance but not his personal medical records.


From what you have mentioned above....Its unacceptable from an employer


Any questions are always welcome


my kindest always





Community Member

Thank you Paul

he has decided to resign as just doesn’t have the fight in him 

Hi peejaybee1


just from my own experience with chronic anxiety (similar to your son)  its good news that your son resigned. Especially for his general health. Unfortunately I thought that 'I could soldier on' without assistance from a GP or counsellor. It didnt work.  My anxiety attacks only exacerbated.


If you or your son have any questions re treating chronic anxiety you are more than welcome to join in and talk about your sons' anxiety


The welcome mat is always out.  There are many super gentle people on the forums that can be here for you. There is no judgement on the forums. Just providing the best support we can


any questions are always welcome PJB1. Im a volunteer on the forums with a few decades of experience where tackling anxiety attacks are concerned.


my kind thoughts



CC/Life Member


Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi there,


I am sorry this has happened. As smallwolf said, I am pretty sure it's illegal to obtain that information without the employee's consent. They aren't allowed to discriminate based on disability or mental health conditions. In my opinion, purposely seeking out that information is workplace discrimination/bullying, they are targeting his performance based on his mental health status. 


It is probably a good idea to resign, that culture isn't something you want to be apart of. There are plenty of really supportive workplaces out there, and a lot take mental wellness and care seriously. I am sure your son can find one of them!


Jaz xx