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Reply to “Trying to Find Empoyment after Workcover”

We have received a reply to our previous anonymously submitted post, by a very generous lawyer!

Hi there. I’m a lawyer practicing in WA.

It seems to me a highly intrusive and potentially discriminatory question to ask a job seeker if they have ever been on Workers Compensation.

In my view employers (even including State Govt employers) who ask this questions as  a matter for course are exceeding the limits of what should be considered an acceptable question, yet this question has become almost standard.  I would very much like to see this issue eliminated from all job application forms as being potentially and (if it can be proven) actually discriminatory.

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Trying to find employment after Workcover

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.

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Workcover NSW broken, pointless, complex and unfair

Last year (March 2017) an upper house inquiry into NSW Workers Compensation released its report recommending a range of reforms. But at the end of our readings we see that nothing has really changed, or has there?

The Law and Justice Committee report found that the dispute resolution processes – called “dysfunctional” by stakeholders – were “inefficient, caused delays, and resulted in inconsistent decision-making and a system that is difficult for scheme participants to navigate”.

The review made 26 recommendations to make claims simpler for injured workers and for the NSW government to establish a ‘one stop shop’ forum for the resolution of all workers compensation disputes.

Other recommendations clamp down on aggressive covert surveillance by insurers, stop insurers “doctor-shopping” to deny claims and require case managers to have mandatory minimum qualifications and training.

The review also recommends the removal of the distinction between ‘work capacity’ and ‘liability’.

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Return to work underminded by adversarial workcover NSW

According to its chief executive, getting rid of adversarial relationships that undermine an injured worker’s ability to return to work from the workcover system remains a “big challenge” for the NSW workers’ comp regulator.

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) is focusing on influencing behaviour and culture in the workers’ comp “ecosystem” instead of on compliance and legislation alone, with the latter being “necessary but not sufficient” to achieve more desirable results, according to Carmel Donnelly.

Speaking at the recent 19th annual National Workers’ Compensation Summit in Sydney , she says a “challenging and confronting fact” in injury management is that “people who access injury compensation schemes may in fact have worse outcomes than if they haven’t been entitled to compensation”.

“If you were treated with care and dignify [within a scheme], and that was your perception, you’re more likely to return to work,” Donnelly says.

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WorkSafe VIC – complex claims process needs fixing

Further to a recent comment made b y “Tom”,  here is the press release from the Ombudsman about its investigation into Victoria’s workers’ compensation scheme. We knon it is well overdue as it occurred in 2016 but here it is. Nothing we did not alteady know as injured workers on the system. Let’s hope things have improved?

 

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National review WHS, have your say, quick!

National review of WHS legislation

We recently received an email informing us that a Marie Boland is conducting the 2018 review and is interested in hearing from everyone with an interest in the model WHS laws. This includes businesses and workers. Ms Boland wants to hear about what is working or not working in practice. You can provide a written submission, make a brief comment online, or participate in an online discussion forum. Please visit the consultation page on their Engage website to read the discussion paper and share your views and experiences. Please note that written submissions close next Friday, 13 April, but the discussion forums will remain open for a few more weeks.

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