Return to Work SA – legal action likely over workers’ comp changes

john-rau-workcover-sa

How will injured workers really be impacted by the new workers compensation laws in South Australia? Listen to the interview with Brad Coates, the CFMEU’S Greater Green Triangle District Secretary to get an idea of how barbaric the Return to Work SA changes are, already resulting in injured workers’ mental breakdowns.

Legal action likely over workers’ compensation changes

04/05/2015 , 9:11 AM by STUART STANSFIELD

A South East Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union official says he’s been involved in three mental health interventions triggered by changes to South Australia’s workers’ compensation scheme.

Brad Coates, the CFMEU’S Greater Green Triangle District Secretary, says it’s a name change rather than a new scheme, and legal action is likely over the new time limit on payments.

BRAD COATES FINAL – Listen to the interview here. Direct link: http://blogs.abc.net.au/files/brad-coates-final-2.mp3

Logo

 

[Source: http://blogs.abc.net.au/sa/2015/05/legal-action-likely-over-workers-compensation-changes-.html]

6 Responses to “Return to Work SA – legal action likely over workers’ comp changes”

  1. Hi Duncan, I totally agree with you as SA’s legislation is by far unethical and does not protect the rights of injured workers. I was like you initially, refusing to admit defeat and take their “blood money” redemption offers for one simple reason, they were not performing their fundamental role : rehabilitating me back into the workforce. Instead, for 6 years, my specialist and I were either ignored or treated like they were the experts. However with the cut off date looming, they used this and a number of bullying tactics to take their offer.
    I was doomed either way because they would have cut me off. Because of their lack of duty of care, I had no experience or specific employable skills (I could not return to my occupation due to a permanent injury which was caused by the treatment of my work injury!). So since August 2016, I am still unemployed I had to live off the redemption which is long gone and my kids and I are about to lose our house.

    My employer is a main government agency and self-insured, therefore it manages its own workcover cases. As far as I am aware, there is not much in the form of regulation or performance review. Consequently with this freedom, they can NOT do many things for their injured workers. Because, realistically, other than for wage and payment disputes or dismissals, how many people actually take their employers to tribunal for other important issues like
    failure to comply with a specialist restrictions? refusal to pay for therapy, treatment, meaningful work placements? I am trying at the moment, to look into the possibility of a loop hole with regards to take legal action against my employer. As you and I know that there are MANY injured workers who are over 30% incapacitated. However, with the workcover ombudsman a distant memory, self-regulated employers think they can bully injured workers into submission or suicide. Lets see who gets the last laugh.

  2. The new SA laws are brutal indeed – The only injured workers who will be entitled to weekly payments until retirement age and medical expenses for life are
    those who are assessed as being ‘seriously injured’, meaning a 30% Whole Person Impairment has been assessed.
    That is very few workers. Every other worker will have a maximum of two years payments and three years medical treatment before being cut off the system and left to fend for themselves, regardless of their injury/ies.
    No wonder they rebranded work-cover SA to ReturntoWork!

    • Well here i am at the END! The end what does that mean? well i am not sure yet but I will find out soon! I have been cut off Return to Work because I didn’t reach 30% WPI by Return to Work’s Doctors report which I was tricked into doing 2 years ago to receive a redemption but I did not take the redemption. Lucky for me as my neck injuries got worse and needed urgent surgery as my neck collapsed and my spinal cord was being compromised in several places. I had a 3 disc removal in mid Dec 2017 then cruelly cut off with 1000’s of other seriously injured workers. This is all because of Return to Work’s 2 year maximum off Work new legislation that completed on June 27th 2018 . Well i have had some complications with my surgery and need further surgical intervention which will not happen now and the 4 disc bulges in my lower back are not getting any treatment since i was cut off . How can a PROVEN AUTHENTICATED injured worker half way through his surgery and treatment be cut off because of a general cut off time period?? I don’t have a crystal ball, i had no idea my condition would get worse and end up needing urgent surgery, just a few months before the end date. How can our government do this to seriously injured citizens? They should be ashamed! I am on a disability pension which at the age of 44 I have a long time before retirement but I have had my surgery taken away from me my medication and other therapies physio and chiropractic so because of a new legislation time frame regardless of my medical condition i get cut off how can our Government legally, morally and ethically treat people with proven disabilities like this? Shame SA Government and Return to Work you should be ashamed!

      Stop hiding behind your unfair and immoral legislation and start doing the rite thing for the citizens of South Australia

      Duncan McMullan July 18, 2018 at 3:08 pm
      • Hi Duncan, I totally agree with you as SA’s legislation is by far unethical and does not protect the rights of injured workers. I was like you initially, refusing to admit defeat and take their “blood money” redemption offers for one simple reason, they were not performing their fundamental role : rehabilitating me back into the workforce. Instead, for 6 years, my specialist and I were either ignored or treated like they were the experts. However with the cut off date looming, they used this and a number of bullying tactics to take their offer.
        I was doomed either way because they would have cut me off. Because of their lack of duty of care, I had no experience or specific employable skills (I could not return to my occupation due to a permanent injury which was caused by the treatment of my work injury!). So since August 2016, I am still unemployed I had to live off the redemption which is long gone and my kids and I are about to lose our house.

        My employer is a main government agency and self-insured, therefore it manages its own workcover cases. As far as I am aware, there is not much in the form of regulation or performance review. Consequently with this freedom, they can NOT do many things for their injured workers. Because, realistically, other than for wage and payment disputes or dismissals, how many people actually take their employers to tribunal for other important issues like
        failure to comply with a specialist restrictions? refusal to pay for therapy, treatment, meaningful work placements? I am trying at the moment, to look into the possibility of a loop hole with regards to take legal action against my employer. As you and I know that there are MANY injured workers who are over 30% incapacitated. However, with the workcover ombudsman a distant memory, self-regulated employers think they can bully injured workers into submission or suicide. Lets see who gets the last laugh.

      • Im in a similar boat Duncan. I had a knee injury at work followed by several operations with complications and now after the 2 years income support i was cut off and left 6 weeks with no income at all before i could recieve centrelink. Im unable to return to work still. The new legislation is a long way off good enough. Its a disgrace and if everybody knew how they would be left to fend for themselves with no assistance nobody would work for anyone anymore. We need a class action against the new legislation and the incompitant insurance companies put in charge of injured workers cases. If anyone reading this can point me in the right direction i would greatly appreciate it. My heart goes out to all those affected. I know how you feel.

        • Ive started a facebook page called “class action rtwsa” to see how many ppl are interested.