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Humanity is not understood by Q-Comp: Gary Jibson fights for workers comp

“Humanity” is something that is not exercised nor understood by the workcover insurance companies, and  Gary Jibson is sadly living proof of that. Gary is a rural fire volunteer who lost his wife and two children in the 2011 Grantham floods (QLD) is now in a legal battle for workers compensation to fund his treatment for post traumatic stress. Q-comp denied his claim stating Gary was undertaking “non-authorised rescues” even though there appears to be strong evidence (recorded) that Gary was in fact allocated rescue/emergency work at the time.

Continue Reading…

vulture-insurance

Dear Insurer, I don’t like doing business with vultures…

Insurance companies have fingers in many pies, and the same pack of vultures who are making a killing off the plight of injured workers will stop at nothing to win your business.  They have cover for all occasions such as house, house contents, CTP Green slips, comprehensive vehicle insurance, income protection etc.

We have listed the BIG 7 insurers in NSW below and would suggest that if approached by any of the Big 7 to take out other forms of insurance, you may consider sending them a polite letter declining their offers.  You also may consider cancelling any existing policies (ancillary products) you might already have with a scheme agent and get a better price with a non-scheme agent.

Continue Reading…

WorkCover Queensland status review: misleading?

Thanks to our co-warrior Trinny, it has come to our attention that WorkCover Queensland has released a status review and that according to the review, the scheme is absolutely perfect and all rosy. This is, of course, contradictory to recent submissions, in particular those from [ex]police officers, and to the well hidden upcoming inquiry into the workcover Queensland operations!

According to the WorkCover QLD -ahum- status review (1997-2011):

WorkCover continues to have a clear determination and responsibility to apply a commercial business focus to the ongoing viability of the WorkCover fund. This, more than any other single factor, has helped WorkCover to be the leader it is today. Over 14 years ago the Government owned a poor performing organisation with a $320 million deficit.

Today, WorkCover has transformed into a financially stable, successful business with high customer engagement ratings, and is one the best insurers in the workers’ compensation industry. The vision to excel in workers’ compensation continues to drive WorkCover to ongoing success.

In the year ending 30 June 2011, WorkCover insured more than 150 000 employers and managed in excess of 92 000 statutory claims and 3 800 common law claims in accordance with the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003.

WorkCover’s in-house case management model allows workers to receive specialised service and attention. Over 85% of statutory claims are decided within ten days.

Common law claims now have an average duration of 49 weeks—outcomes previously would take an average of three years.
Queensland employers pay one of the lowest average workers’ compensation rates in Australia. From 2008 to 2010, WorkCover offered employers the lowest average premium rate in any Australian state at just $1.15 per $100 wages. This was down from $2.145 in 1998. In 2010, due to the global financial crisis (GFC) and increasing common law claim numbers and costs, the average premium rate was increased to $1.30 per $100 wages to maintain the fund’s viability.

The rate increased again in 2010-2011 with the average premium rate set at $1.42 per $100 wages, but this is still one of the lowest average rates in Australia.

Since inception, WorkCover has demonstrated that it is a customer focussed insurer, balancing the needs of both workers and employers.

WorkCover’s guiding philosophy is simple—to provide the best possible benefits and rehabilitation programs for workers, at the lowest possible premium for employers. The vision and goals have provided a constant focus for all at WorkCover allowing the business to evolve and continue to provide customers with superior outcomes. WorkCover encourages employers to focus on injury prevention and, in the event of an injury, a stay at or return to work outcome for workers. To achieve the best possible results for customers, WorkCover constantly reviews and refines processes and service delivery methods.

For WorkCover to keep being successful in delivering these services to its customers, it is important to build and maintain beneficial working relationships with stakeholders such as: Q-COMP, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, the Department of Justice and Attorney-General, medical and allied health providers, lawyers, unions, and industry associations.

A commitment to corporate governance and critical self assessment ensures WorkCover will continue to operate at best practice.

blah blah blah…

 

Read the wonderful workcover QLD status in a separate window.

What they don’t tell you

Workcover QLD uses bullying and manipulative tactics in stress claims

In order for workcover to determine the acceptability of a claim for stress they rely heavily on the  employer to provide open disclosure to them about the facts and evidence in a matter regarding allegations made by a claimant. The former police officer who works for workcover Queensland reviewing “problem claimants” says – in a submission made to Internal Review of Police Disciplinary Matters– that he has never seen a case where this ever happened in the assessment period of the claim.

Workcover QLD inquiry

There is a Workcover Inquiry in the workers comp QLD operations, send this to anybody that has had any problems with the Queensland Workers’ Compensation scheme, Q-comp, Medical professionals, solicitors, employers or anyone else that is involved in the Workcover scheme.

This is the public’s chance to be heard, so do your best to get this out there.
Jason who has an unfixable wrist has even had his medical reports FALSIFIED by Q-COMP!!!

Workcover QLD Inquiry Submissions close on  3 September

 

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1MA9G-3kj

 

Bullying in police workforce: former cop gives evidence

A PROSTITUTION taskforce was shut down after investigating a state government minister who was allegedly using Gold Coast call girls, a court has been told. Veteran former Coast police officer Al Colefax made the claim yesterday at a hearing into allegations of bullying and harassment in the Queensland Police Service.

Bullying in police workforce: former cop gives evidence

Former cops gives evidence on illegal warrants and bullying in police force

Former Burleigh Heads detective David Whyte is suing workers compensation body Q-Comp for psychological injuries he claims to have suffered as a result of “entrenched maladministration, workplace harassment and nepotism”.

Mr Colefax, who served in the QPS for 26 years before being medically retired in 2007, backed Mr Whyte’s allegations of unlawful search warrants being used at the Burleigh Heads CIB.

He told Southport Magistrates Court he did not report his concerns because of an experience in the 1990s when he notified superiors that a government minister’s name had come up as a “regular client” of prostitutes.

Mr Colefax said no action was taken and the “very successful” anti-prostitution squad he headed was abruptly disbanded.

Two serving police officers also gave evidence in support of Mr Whyte’s claim against Q-Comp. Former Burleigh Heads detectives John Laws and Kevin Tudor said they were forcibly transferred out of the branch office after clashing with superiors.

Senior-Constable Laws said false disciplinary charges were levelled against him and he was sent to a uniform job at Mudgeeraba after he raised allegations of bullying, favouritism and illegal search warrants.

Grilled by Q-Comp barrister John Dwyer about why he did not report his concerns, Sen-Constable Laws said he had “a career to protect” and there was “substantial risk” in speaking out.

“Put simply, you make a complaint with the QPS and you paint a target on your back,” he told the court.

“The culture of the QPS is such that you would wind up ostracised and generally run out of the place.”

The hearing heard that after Mr Whyte complained to the CMC in November 2006, Burleigh Heads detectives were called in by senior officers and asked what they knew.

Sen-Constable Laws said a senior officer rang him to tell him that Mr Whyte had “gone bad” and “lost the plot” and wanting to know where Whyte’s service pistol was.

While service pistols were sometimes confiscated from officers who went on sick leave, Sen-Constable Laws said, he had also seen this done to “humiliate” them.

The hearing was told that the CMC had been unable to substantiate misconduct allegations raised by Mr Whyte but had identified procedural and management issues.

Q-Comp is expected to begin its case today.

[Source: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/former-cops-gives-evidence-on-illegal-warrants-and-bullying-in-police-force/story-e6freon6-1226456992596]

Related posts

Also see our  article about the ex police officer’s experiencedemonstrated by the cases that there is a a complete lack of support and worse sometimes even further bullying and manipulative tactics designed by all stakeholders involved which appears at least to be designed to completely destroy these people. (police officers)

The webpage where the Independent Review of the Queensland Police ComplaintsDiscipline and Misconduct System is published here- It also lists all other submissions made etc.
http://www.premiers.qld.gov.au/publications/categories/reviews/qps-complaints.aspx

 

http://wp.me/p1MA9G-3ka

 

Meaningless attempt at mediation after termination of injured worker unreasonable

In this interesting legal case, The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC)  overturned Workcover QLD’s (Q-COMP) rejection of an injured worker’s stress claim, finding that the employer’s “meaningless” attempt at mediation after it had decided to dismiss her and its additional requirement for an apology after the injured worker had agreed to its request, were unreasonable management actions.

Meaningless attempt at mediation after termination of injured worker unreasonable

The case

In 2006 an employee of Qualtime Association Inc was involved in an altercation with a colleague, where she apparently became “very angry and had stomped through the premises” and swore at a disabled client “who was very loud and spoke a lot”

After the altercation, the worker’s boss [president] discussed her behaviour with her and provided her with a written warning which stated to “not act in that manner again”.

The worker’s management committee then proceeded to conduct a mediation meeting BUT after it could not unanimously agree that the worker’s employment should be terminated.

After said “mediation”  meeting, the worker was certified unfit for work by her treating GP, and made a workers compensation claim for for a stress-related disorder. This claim was rejected, of course, by her employer, and then also by workcover QLD (Q-COMP) after “review”.

The injured worker appealed against Q-COMP’s decision in the Queensalnd Industrial Relations Committee. Commissioner Ingrid Asbury herad that the injured worker stated that the cause of her injury was due to the unlawful actions of individuals allegedly acting on behalf of the management committee. The injured worker said that unlawful actions could not be regarded as reasonable management action.

Commissioner Asbury also heard that the injured worker was asked on several occasions, and after receiving her warning letter to respond to it by explaining her behaviour and to apologise.

The injured worker said she believed that “that was the end of it” after she agreed (as requested) not to repeat her behaviour.

The injured worker told the Commissioner that she was clearly told by the employer that if she did not apologise for her behaviour, she would be dismissed.

After the injured worker refused to do so, the employer’s management committee agreed that it was reasonable to discuss with the worker her termination by mutual consent. The injured worker did not agree with the termination but was stood down with  full pay while the committee considered the situation.

The employer then offered the worker a deed of release which she [rightfully]  rejected. The injured worker then received a letter notifying her that the employer felt it had no choice but to terminate her employment. They gave her5 weeks’ salary instead of notice and 12 weeks’ wages.

The injured worker said she signed the deed of release which was considered as her resignation.

The hearing

In their argument, Q-COMP (workcover QLD)  told the commission that[popup url=’ http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/qld/consol_act/wcara2003400/s119.html’] s119 of the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 [/popup] applied when the worker signed the deed of release.

Section 119 states that a compensation entitlement ended when a damages claim was finalised.

Q-COMP argued that the payment made to the worker from the deed was damages for incidents that occurred in the employment relationship. [WTF!]

Q-COMP also went on to state that the deed clearly provided that the injured worker released and forever discharged the employer, its directors, officers, servants and agents of all actions of any nature.

Thankfully Commissioner Asbury was unable to accept that s119 of the Act was applicable in this case because there was no evidence that the industrial advocates were negotiating damages relating to an injury!

“The recitals set out in the deed indicate that its focus was on resolving matters relating to [the worker’s] employment and the termination of her employment, and not an injury that may arise from the termination,” Commissioner Asbury said.

Asbury found that sum was in return for the [injured worker ] to agree to compromise any claims she may have had with the employer and her termination of employment, and did not extend to damages for an illness or injury.

Reasonable Management Action

Commissioner Asbury did however not find that the incident was a significant contributing factor to the worker’s injury, nor was the provision of the warning letter.

She also said that the worker’s behaviour during the incident was “totally inappropriate”.

However, Commissioner Asbury was satisfied that the request for the injured worker to respond to the warning letter, the president’s advice to the injured worker that her refusal to apologise warranted instant dismissal, the offer to the worker for mutual termination, and the events that led to the worker’s resignation were unreasonable management actions that “significantly contributed to her injury”
.

Asbury said that it was really unreasonable for the injured worker to be requested to respond to the warning letter considering she had complied with the request contained in it.

The unfairness was compounded when the president sought the mutual termination of the worker’s employment because she refused to apologise and respond to the letter, the commissioner said.

And although the injured worker’s termination did not proceed at that time, the mediation attempt was not meaningful because the majority of the committee had wanted to bring about dismissal regardless of the outcome, she stated.

She also went on to state she had “no doubt that [the injured worker] was difficult, disruptive and prone to engaging in totally inappropriate behaviour in the workplace”, and there was every reason to believe that she would repeat her actions.

However, the manner in which the management committee went about terminating her employment was unfair, Asbury said.

Commissioner Asbury  allowed the injured worker’s appeal.

You can read the full case here:[popup url=’ http://www.ecruiting.com.au/ohsalert/2007/1002WC1.pdf’] Felicity Maddison and Q-COMP (WC/2007/1) (25 September 2007)[/popup]

 

[post entered by T on behalf of WCV]

http://wp.me/p1MA9G-2xT

 

Workplace investigation goes awry and causes psych injury

Further to yesterday’s horrible story about how a WorkSafe inspector conducted herself when an injured worker asked for an investigation into workplace bullying, we dug a little deeper and stumbled on this legal case whereby an investigator accused a worker of being in a homosexual relationship with the manager! The worker said the accusation was false and that it made her feel distressed and discriminated against. She subsequently made a successful psychological injury claim.

Workplace investigation goes awry and causes psych injury

A case in how how not to manage a misconduct investigation.

The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission heard that in April 2010 a  Mackay Base Hospital worker [the worker] had been called as a “witness” in an investigation into complaints made against the female manager who hired her.

The hospital’s CEO had told the worker that the investigation was not about her and that she should not be concerned about it. Because of this “reassurance”, the worker did not bring a support person along to the interview.

However, it turned out that, in the interview, an “independent” investigator actually accused the worker of being in a homosexual relationship with the manager!

The IR Commission heard from the worker that the accusation (of being in a homosexual relationship) was untrue and that the worker was consequently feeling distressed about (this allegation) and felt “quite discriminated” against.

The worker has subsequently lodged a workers compensation claim for psychological injury, which Q-Comp [workcover Queensland] accepted, however the worker’s employer [Queensland Health] appealed this!

The hearing

Mr Fisher, the Commissioner heard at the hearing that there had been an earlier inquiry into allegations and that the manager had taken “reprisal actions” against “another employee”, and that rumours had it that the manager was in a relationship with the worker. The manager had apparently failed to disclose the relationship when hiring the worker and had asked for the worker to be rostered off so she could take her on a holiday.

In its defense, the hospital (Queensland Health) argues hat the interview questions put to the aggrieved worker were “necessary and reasonable” and that they were not an “inquiry into the worker’s sex life”.

However, Commissioner Fisher found the accusations made against the manager were serious enough to involve police, and that the CEO had made a “fanciful distinction” that was “at best, misleading” in telling the worker the investigation “is not about you”.

Fisher also found the (aggrieved) worker had not been in a position to make an “informed decision” when she declined the offer of a support person, and that it was unclear what “authority or information” the investigator was acting on.

Commissioner Fisher stated that the CEO should have properly disclosed the issues to be raised before the interview, and provided the worker with a letter that stated:

  • “You are to be asked questions of an extremely personal nature and questions that may well involve a reference of your case to the Queensland Police Service,”
  • “You are hereby advised that you should have a support person present,” and
  • “You should seek to be informed of the issues prior to answering any questions whatsoever.”

“The reality was that the subject matter of the allegations directly impacted on [the worker] both in terms of her continued employment with the hospital and in terms of her personal relationships being put under scrutiny by her employer,” the Commissioner said.

The commissioner found the misconduct investigation was not conducted in a reasonable way, and upheld the worker’s entitlement to compensation.

You can read the full case here: [popup url=’ http://www.qirc.qld.gov.au/resources/pdf/published/2012/february/decision_wc173_2010_020212.pdf’]State of Queensland (Queensland Health) AND Q-COMP and Tracy Connors (WC/2010/173) (1 February 2012)[/popup]

 

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1MA9G-2xe

 

An injured workers nightmarish story and plea for help

Yesterday, a workcovervictimsdiary recieved yet another nightmarish story and plea for help from a psychologically injured worker [S] who is dealing with Q-Comp in Queensland.”Can anyone tell me how the heck I can get these people to award a fair weekly rate of pay for my sick pay as I am going out of my mind and I am trying to live on $150 a week…”

An injured workers nightmarish story and plea for help

I was injured in 2010. I was rejected by WorkCover after the case officer verbally told me on the phone in front of my partner that he was approving my claim but said please don’t tell anyone until he issues the letter. Then for months he denied my numerous attempts to send him more supporting evidence whilst giving my employer a million extensions for example to go away for the weekend boating!

While I am really sick, and not being paid and all my savings were going going gone now… then he denied my claim. This man is a serious worry as he was actually conniving about the way he rejected my claim.

He also took count them….142 business days to render the decision!

I then went to Q -Comp and the decision was of course overturned.

I then got [J] back on the phone with me at workcover QLD and because mine was a psychological [injury] over time very bad bullying case involving a physical assault also.

I was -as part of the bullying- not paid my proper wages and by the time of my injury. I was paid only [less than $5000] from May to Dec  as General Manager of a company that turns over millions of dollars.

Because of poor cash flow and also bullying the owner did not want to pay my back wages after I lodged a workcover claim and even denied I worked for his company.

Workcover found me to be a worker even though my boss denied this and tried to say I was a contractor.. I don’t even have an ABN.

I now have [Mr L] the man that rejected my claim telling me that my NORMAL WEEKLY EARNINGS are [less than $200] dollars a week as General Manager. My true agreed wage was [about]2000 per week.

I had labourers earning 1500 per week at the company doing manual labour. Anyway the story gets better now as I have WorkCover telling me they will only pay me [less than $200] per week as my weekly entitlement.

I then go to Q Comp for a review and then I have all my witnesses make statements then after they give them to my employer my employer approaches witnesses trying to get them to take back their statements by offering money or intimidating.

It worked with two of my six witnesses. One took money and one got scared to death and changed his statement.

So after all this what does Q-comp do after I advise them that my employer is approaching witnesses before even they tell me anything about it……???

Do they do the right thing and apply a correct wage for me to be back paid to [month] 2010 up to today??? No the lady then drops my Normal Weekly Earnings in a decision variation and I am now on [<$200] per week…… This is after I have my employer lying. cheating and corrupting to avoid being a responsible employer…

So now I have no money for a lawyer, I have mainly former employees witness statements regarding my wage because my boss has destroyed documents and I have Q Comp and WorkCover telling me that even though I have been accepted as a full time employee of the company and a General Manager that [,$200] per week is “Fair”

I have a court date at QIRC for my case re my rate of pay to be heard in June.

Can anyone tell me how the heck I can get these people to award a fair weekly rate of pay for my sick pay as I am going out of my mind and I am trying to live on $150 a week. And I have to pay for my medicine which is costly and then I have to wait to be re paid when WorkCover feels like it ( Which is not often).

HEEEELLLLLLP PLEASE

I HAVE TRIED TO KEEP IT VERY VERY BRIEF HERE I HAVE NOT EVEN TOUCHED ON MANY MANY NIGHTMARISH THINGS I HAVE BEEN THROUGH JUST TRYING TO GET BETTER IN THIS SAD SAD SYSTEM.

I am normally a very balanced and happy person. This has nearly destroyed me. I have been diagnosed even by WorkCovers doctors with Debilitating PTSD and severe anxiety. I just want to get well and I don’t know whats been worse… please help any advice is very gratefully welcomed.

S.

—————————————————-

Aleluja, S, what a horrid story!

We note that you have a court date in June [at QIRC] to get a hearing about your current “weekly payments”. Have you got legal representation for that hearing?

If not, we urge you (and anyone else in a similar situation) to immediately get yourself decent legal representation (a lawyer specialised in personal injuries). We can recommend[popup url=’ http://www.shine.com.au/’] Shine Lawyers[/popup], who have offices in Queensland. You can also call John Typaldos (in Vic, see right handed sidebar for details) and ask him to refer you to the most appropriate branch in Queensland.(Tell him you got his details through our blog).

Most workers compensation lawyers, like Shine Lawyers, operate on a no win no fee basis. This means that you do not have to pay them and that payment will only be made if and when your claim succeeds. However, you would need to discuss your case with a lawyer first (free consultation) to assess whether you have a “good case” and what you may expect in terms of legal help and compensation.

The most important part, for you, at this stage, is to sort out your weekly payments. A lawyer will be able to assist you with this. Some unions can too (i.e. Union Assist). For information about weekly payments, refer to the Act (legislation QLD) which should be available on the [popup url=’http://www.workcoverqld.com.au/ ‘]workcover QLD website[/popup] (i.e Acts and Regulations).

Until your case is heard (and the weekly payments agreed to), we don’t believe there is much you can do apart from approaching Centrelink (please read our article)and /or  unlocking your superannuation (please read article) in order to obtain the urgent financial assistance you clearly need.

In addition to that you should be aware that you can approach a pharmacy and have set up an account for you. This way the pharmacist will bill workcover (Q-Comp) directly and you won’t have to pay for your medication upfront. Most injured workers have such an account/agreement. Also, ensure that your doctors and specialists bill workcover (your insurer) directly so that you don’t have to pay any money upfront (and claim it back).

Hope this helps a tad, and perhaps our readers will be able to give you further advice and tips…

Please, folks, help us support S!

Shortlink:http://workcovervictimsdiary.com/?p=8282