Workcover QLD law changes causes employment discrimination says Judge

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The new (2013) workcover QLD  laws which deny employment rights to workers who give misleading information about their medical history in job applications, will lead to “employment discrimination” against physically impaired  or injured workers, says a Queensland judge.

The October 2013 changes to the QLD Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act allows Queensland employers to access prospective employee’s worker’s compensation and injury history. The Bill makes a number of changes to the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld) that will benefit employers, which include: requiring a prospective worker to disclose a pre-existing injury or medical condition, if requested to do so; and allowing employers access to a prospective worker’s claims history.

Workcover QLD law changes causes employment discrimination says Judge

The October 2013 changes to the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act basically allows employers the opportunity to consider the workplace suitability of applicants for the duties they will be required to perform. What’s more, job applicants must disclose all pre-existing  medical conditions as well as workcover claims if the employer  request it.

This same law also allows prospective employers to access government records of a job applicant’s employment history.

Workcover QLD legal case

In the very recent case of Turner v Turner & Anor [2014] QDC 106 Baulch SC DCJ 18/03/2014, Judge John Baulch of QLD Townsville’s District Court noted that as a result of the mandatory disclosure, such persons now face “significant difficulty in obtaining employment”.

He stated that sensible employers would be ““unlikely to employ” a medically impaired person, over an able bodied applicant with the same skills.

A man with the plaintiff’s [injured worker] history of injury and a level of whole person impairment which was not disputed to be 16 per cent would be courageous  indeed to embark on a career in one of those occupations. Even if he was minded to
pursue a career of that sort, he would be faced with the significant difficulty in obtaining such employment by reason of the provisions of the Workers’Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003. See sections 571A, B and C. Sensible
employers would be likely to make inquiries about the matters raised in those sections and would, in my opinion, be unlikely to employ a man with the plaintiff’s [injured worker] level of incapacity.

We believe, the punitive measures associated with these —yes, discriminatory— non-disclosure of prior medical issues are seen by countless injured workers to be an unreasonable obstacle … particularly to the well-meaning and determined, impaired or prior injured workers amongst us, who intent on pulling themselves out of welfare dependency.

You can read the full text of the legal case here: Turner v Turner & Anor [2014] QDC 106 Baulch SC DCJ 18/03/2014.

 

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One Response to “Workcover QLD law changes causes employment discrimination says Judge”

  1. if an injured workers persobal medical to be allowed all workcover and damages should be based on higher damages payout.with workcover responsible for half the damages bill..i am sure if a judge or judges started award the loss of future income to be offset and paid by workcover in every case.workcover will want the new law abolished if aa judge staes “due to news laws bound by workcover that future loss of employment due to disclose this information i hereby make workcover be accountable for one third of the workers damages pyout”if workcover want this law then injured worker can take litigation against workcover also for slander and loss of future income.this law has to be stopped

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