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.
Stigma of workers comp hinders job opportunities: He’s gone for 472 jobs and can’t get one
A father-of-five, who was hurt on a job site, has made a last-ditch effort to find work after almost 500 unsuccessful job applications.
Jason Lenane from Bonny Hills on the NSW north coast has spoken out with a simple message for would-be employers.
“Give us a chance,” he said about people on workers’ compensation.
A mature-aged apprenticeship paved the way to a trade Mr Lenane enjoyed but that ended with a workplace injury in October 2010.
A sprained wrist flared into a chronic pain condition called complex regional pain syndrome.
Mr Lenane said the pain had now settled down to a point where he could function and tolerate the pain.
The 38-year-old had hoped to study hydraulic engineering until his ability to save towards a degree dried up.
Now he just wants to work and is willing to re-train.
“It gets frustrating because I know I could be an asset to any organisation,” he said.
Mr Lenane’s resume includes 15 years’ experience in the security industry, a background in retail and about 13 years in the plumbing industry.
He contacted Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams, Lyne MP Rob Oakeshott and mayor Peter Besseling in his quest for a job.
Under state government reforms, Mr Lenane’s workers’ compensation payments will end on February 6.
So too will be the financial benefits available to eligible employers which include incentive payments.
Mr Lenane is facing the prospect of selling his ute and the family could have to downsize their house if a job doesn’t come along soon.
He acknowledged other people were in similar positions.
“There are genuine guys out there struggling with this every day,” Mr Lenane said.
He believes there should be greater understanding about workers’ compensation across the board from employers to the general community.
“The hardest part is trying to get past the stigma,” Mr Lenane said.
Reforms to workers’ compensation have changed the way benefit claims are assessed and paid.
The state government said the reforms ensured better protection for injured workers.
A fact sheet said the workers’ compensation scheme had needed major reform because it was more than $4.1 million in deficit and failing to properly support those it was supposed to protect.
Potential employers should contact Jason Lenane on 0438 822796 and on his email address firstname.lastname@example.org.