In the Western Australian workers compensation system, workers who are injured as a result of an accident in the course of their employment are often concerned that their employer will terminate their employment, for many reasons, but most commonly that they are restricted or incapacitated from doing their preinjury work.
Termination of employment within 12 Months
The Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981, the piece of legislation which regulates the workers compensation system in Western Australia, has provisions which limit the ability of an employer to terminate the employment of a worker with an accepted workers compensation claim.
Section 84AA of the Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 relevantly states that where a worker who has been incapacitated by injury attains a partial or total capacity for work, in the 12 months from the day the worker becomes entitled to receive weekly payments of compensation from the employer, the employer shall provide to the worker the position that the worker held immediately before that day if it is reasonably practicable to provide that position to the worker, or, if that position is not available, or if the worker does not have capacity to work in that position, a position for which the worker is qualified and capable of performing. There is a potential penalty of $5000 for failing to comply with this provision.
Subsequent termination of employment
while workers may be terminated from their employment while they are on workers compensation for a variety of reasons, it is important to know that in most circumstances those workers will continue to receive weekly payments of compensation and other benefits under the workers compensation legislation which include reasonable medical expenses, money for rehabilitation expenses through registered rehabilitation provider and travel expenses. In the event that benefits are not paid a workers compensation lawyer can help.
While the reasons for the termination of employment may vary, the reason is commonly that the worker does not have the capacity to return to their preinjury role, and is unlikely to have capacity to return to their preinjury role at any time in the foreseeable future. This is often a hard situation as usually the injured worker will be working in the employment for some time. If they are unfit for that kind of work then they will need to contemplate new employment. To do this, the worker should utilise the services of a rehabilitation provider who should be able to arrange for the worker to obtain suitable skills to allow them to work outside of the workers compensation system. This can include the worker attending courses to obtain new skills, and the worker attending a work placement program usually referred to as a work hardening program where they learn new skills so that they can once again engage in the open workforce.
Foyle Legal specialises in the area of work injuries, and workers compensation claims and provides representation to injured workers on a no win no fee basis. At Foyle Legal your first attendance is obligation free. You can contact Foyle Legal on 0408 727 343, by confidential enquiry form.
For more information, Please contact us.
6/2 Carson Road
Malaga, Perth, WA 6090