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Can injured workers be sacked for failing to provide medical info?

Injured and recovering workers who fail to supply medical information requested by their employers about their ability to perform their job can be sacked. Two separate and fairly recent legal cases highlight that injured workers have to allow their employer(s) to obtain medical information from their treating doctor(s), if they request so.

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Employer right to direct injured worker to undergo medical assessment

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!

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RTW-plan-must-be-in-consultation-with-injured-worker-and-doctor workplace-bullying-fwc

Sacking of a bullied worker invalidates a FWC anti-bullying application

As of 1 Jan 2014, the Fair Work Commission can deal with applications for an order to stop workplace bullying but only if a worker is bullied while they are (still) at work. This is obviously very problematic if a bullied worker has been sacked after lodging their bullying claim, as shown in the following recent legal case.

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injured-worker-reinstatement

Injured workers in NSW can be reinstated within 2 years of termination

Did you know that in NSW an injured worker who has been terminated because of his injury can seek reinstatement when the (injured) worker becomes fit for employment (even with some restrictions) within 2 years of the termination.

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rehab-vocational-injured-workers

Alternative jobs for injured workers unrealistic – weekly pay restored

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.

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employment-discrimination-prior-workcover-injury The injured worker wants to return to work

The injured worker wants to return to work – but is he fit?

As we have highlighted in our previous article, managing work-related injuries can be a delicate exercise, with multiple – and sometimes conflicting – issues. For example, what if the worker has a right to return to work (as set out in a contract of employment) but the employer is concerned they’re still not fit and their return could breach work health and safety laws?

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