Our workcover system is a true nightmare. Literally. Because the system and those who work within it trigger feelings of confusion, senselessness, helplessness and even alienation. It causes nothing short of a feeling of anxiety, sometimes shame or guilt and a feeling of unending difficulty hampering every step. Feelings that cannot be placated. It’s eerily a feeling like…“And why am I under arrest?” “That’s something we’re not allowed to tell you,” would be the bureaucratic answer. “Go to your room and wait there. Proceedings are underway and you’ll learn about everything all in good time…”
We are lucky in Australia that we have laws that protect the rights of a worker from being discriminated against. In particular, there are laws that protect our rights in relation to Disabilities in the Fair Work Act (2009). The question then becomes what constitutes a Disability?
Further to R’s recent comment, here is a little more information about pre-existing injuries/illnesses and job interviews. Unfortunately, many injured workers know how hard it can be to find a new job after having suffered a workplace injury/illness. It actually feels like we are labelled with a sticker on our foreheads stating “contagious” or something like that! Really! A prospective employer can seek information during an interview provided the questions are relevant to the ability of the job applicant to perform the inherent requirements of the job.
The following article was anonymously submitted via our “submit a guest post” section, for which we are extremely grateful. The more injured workers contribute the better!
Injured workers try to get back to work as soon as they can, however they often face hurdles from prospective employers who see them as a risk, indeed.
Injured or ill workers deserve good medical care, rehabilitation, as well as compensation for permanent injury. Unfortunately more and more doctors are shying away from treating patients in the workers’ compensation system, They should not but they should be aware of how the work-over system works.
We recently received correspondence a bullied, harassed and ill-treated injured worker sent to the Human Rights Commission. The response the injured worker received was very disappointing. It appears Human Rights are available to anyone who doesn’t work in the public sector or have a workcover claim. Thanks to the injured worker, we know have this in writing!
Most people will prepare to work until retirement. Even then, we are encouraged to be productive and work longer than the retirement age, if possible. What happens if your injured at work?
A Victorian inured worker was provided with alternative employment due his incapacity to perform his pre-injury duties. His inability to perform pre-injury duties were already determined however his employer attempted to dismiss him based on the results of the Functional Capacity Evaluations.Which should be used as a tool to determine capacity not incapacity….
Unfortunately Jason’s story is a common one for many injured workers. Once on workers comp for an extended period of time a stigma is automatically attached and injured workers are often viewed as liabilities best avoided by too many employers.
December 3 2012, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten launched a public consultation on proposals to boost employment participation for people with disability.