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?
In the following 2015 NSW legal case, a workcover insurer (and its client, the employer) tried very hard ( but failed) to appeal a decision which required to compensate an injured worker who resigned from his job. The NSW Court of Appeal found that the injured worker’s duties as prescribed by the worker’s injury management plan were not suitable.
We have blogged about return to work plans numerous times, but a general summary may be of use. The essence of this post is that return to work plans that are staged and developed together with the injured worker give injured workers a greater chance to return to work, quickly and safely and in a durable manner. This article also covers the VIC return to work dispute process (dedicated to ‘Porsche47’).
When an injured worker returns to work on “restricted duties” it is absolutely necessary that the restrictions are adhered to. If they are not, it can have an impact on not only the amount of damages that an injured worker (may) receive(s), but also the percentage that the injured worker’s employer is held liable in a multiparty claim. In this legal case, the injured worker’s employer copped a $1.3 million damages bill because of the injured worker’s post injury exacerbation.
Return to work plans with set stages, developed together with the injured worker’s input and their treating doctor offer employers and injured workers the best chance of a timely and sustainable return to work.
What to do when your treating doctor says you can work or return to work but you know or think you can’t, or you simply disagree? This is a good question and one we receive countless time from injured workers.
The following Fair Work Commission legal decision has ruled that employers are allowed to seek further clarification where medical clearances provided by (injured) workers are general in nature, or where there are genuine concerns that there is a risk to health and safety if the (injured) worker returns to work. In other words, employers can send you to attend a medical assessment, even with a company doctor!
The following legal cases highlights again that a return to work (RTW) plan must be made in consultation with the injured worker and his/her doctor. In other words, if no consultation was/is made a RTW refusal is valid.
Further to our article “Alternative jobs for injured workers unrealistic” and the practice of “dodgy” rehabbers proposing bizarre “suitable/alternative work” to injured workers, here is another legal case have where a court has found the proposed alternative occupation for an injured worker to be unrealistic.
Further to some recent comments about the widespread practice of “dodgy” rehabbers proposing bizarre “suitable/alternative work” to injured workers, courts have found that some (many!) proposed alternative occupations for injured workers are simply unrealistic.