You may remember the case of former PM Julia Gillard’s house keeper’s workcover claim for an injury she sustained to her back while straining to fit a sheet on Julia Gillard’s king-size mattress in 2012. The house keeper had initially some issues with her claim, also re-injured herself and now it turns out that she was accused of “fraud” by means of surveillance. However recently the AAT overturned the decision of Comcare to cease her claim for compensation. The article gives some worthy tips re surveillance.
Workcover authorities in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia have confirmed the number of prosecuted (injured workers) frauds is very small – so negligible, in fact, it’s an almost incalculable fraction of the overall number of claims. Notwithstanding the evidence the media still tend to give a seriously skewed presentation on the fraud problems with the system.
We continue to find it interesting, and alarming that so many people in the community continue to question the “genuine” status of injured workers. The media obviously has a large role to play by reinforcing the stereotype of injured workers as fraudulent malingerers, even though research has proven over and over again that injured workers (employee) fraud accounts for less than 1% of all workcover fraud.
Don’t you hate these defense IMEs (Independent Medical Examiners) who claim their “science” supports the conclusion that you, the genuinely injured worker, are a bold faced malingering liar. Oh dear, don’t get us started on this one!
According to the recent Herald Sun’s – rather over-sensationalised- article titled: Revealed: The WorkCover cheats ripping millions from the workers compensation fund , listing a handful of fraudulent injured workers’ cases, one can easily be mislead (again) that injured workers’ fraud is rampant and extremely costly. But is it?
The Fair Work Commission has found an injured worker who was falsely accused of (workcover) fraud and dishonesty in relation to a WorkCover claim was unfairly dismissed from the company he worked at for more than 20 years. This case highlights again the “witch-hunt” culture of so many employers against injured workers.
An injured worker kindly shared an extremely well-written, to-the-point article titled “Justice imperative to protect injured workers” written by a decent, empathic and passionate Canberra Lawyer, David Lander.Whilst the article points the finger at the adversarial Comcare Scheme, it could well be applied to all workcover schemes and their agents…
Melbourne Magistrate Court has recently heard the case of a WorkSafe Vic employee’s $20,000 cab charge rort “due to bullying at work”!
According to Comcare, employers can decrease their premiums provided they too take measures to “eliminate” (rampant) injured workers’ fraud! These “measures” include checking injured workers’ social media pages!
The detection of fraud in Australian workers’ compensation schemes is focused on the “more easily identifiable fraud”, that of the injured worker even though the level of employee (injured worker) fraud is considered to be exremely low (1% or less).
Employer fraud and service provider fraud is much more rampant and much harder to detect. There is also less incentive to eliminate such fraud as a result of the structure of the various workcover schemes.