Whether or not you have to disclose a previous workcover claim to a new employer is yet another question we often receive. In essence, if a potential new employer does not ask you specifically if you have previously had any workcover claims or have previously suffered any injuries, you are not strictly obliged to disclose this to them.
The following article was submitted as a “Guest Post” by “HardRockTuffNut” and covers employment records and how to access them.
Fact: if you have suffered a workplace injury or illness it can be extremely difficult if not impossible to find new employment because injured workers “must” disclose all pre-existing medical conditions if the employer requests it. Is being honest about your pre-existing injury/illness the only way to go?
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!
Further to our article “Alternative jobs for injured workers unrealistic” and the practice of “dodgy” rehabbers proposing bizarre “suitable/alternative work” to injured workers, here is another legal case have where a court has found the proposed alternative occupation for an injured worker to be unrealistic.
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.
The new (2013) workcover QLD laws which deny employment rights to workers who give misleading information about their medical history in job applications, will lead to “employment discrimination” against physically impaired or injured workers, says a Queensland judge.
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?
If an employer is relying on a medical assessment of a worker’s capacity to work, they must ensure that the medical advice is current, and that the distinction between current capacity and future capacity is understood and explored with the medical treater(s).
A few weeks ago, a hefty discussion took place in response to some comments made by ‘@Help Me’, a worker who unfortunately (allegedly) suffered a psychological injury as a consequence of her employment being terminated after she had to take prolonged time off to care for her terminally ill husband. In injured worker ‘Jo’s’ response to ‘Help Me’ s/he stated the essence of this article: the simple fact is your employment was terminated because you were taking too much time off work ….”. In a nutshell, employers may have a valid reason to dismiss / terminate a worker on long term sick leave.