recently we have read an article from the ABC which discusses a growing trend where employers are attending medical reviews with injured workers.
We have noted this trend for some time, and while some employers are altruistic in wanting to totally understand the restrictions of the injured worker, it is also relatively common for employers, or vocational rehabilitation consultants to attend a medical review for the purpose of trying to effectively force the hand of the doctor to produce a final medical certificate in relation to a workers compensation claim.
Rights under the Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981
It is important that workers understand that they do not have an obligation to attend a medical review with their employer. There is nothing in the workers compensation legislation that gives an employer the right to attend a medical review at the touch same time as an injured worker, who has a workers compensation claim.
While this is the case, it is important to realise that an employer does have the right to ask Aidan injured worker to attend a medical review, or independent medical examination. While that is the case, they do not have the power to require the injured worker to attend the medical review with the employer.
Recommendations for Dealing with Employers
it is common for injured workers to not want the workers compensation system to become adversarial, and to return to work at the earliest opportunity so long as they are medically able to do so. This is often the background that enables workers, and vocational rehabilitation provider is to attend medical reviews with an injured worker. Effectively, injured workers desire a good working relationship with their employer and do not want to anger the employer.
Given this background refusing an employer access to a medical review requires the matter to be handled relatively delicately. One way to manage the matter would be to discuss the worker’s medical situation prior to attending the doctor, and to provide a medical certificate as soon as possible after the review to the employer, so that the employer is fully aware of the situation. In this scenario, it can easily be understood that an employer would be more understanding of the injured workers desire for privacy.
Recommendations for Dealing with Vocational Rehabilitation Providers
it is important to realise that many vocational rehabilitation providers tender to be on the panel of a workers compensation insurer. In our view, this makes their independence relatively questionable. In many workers compensation claims, the desires of a workers compensation insurer are diametrically opposed to that of the injured worker.
Given this background, it is somewhat unsurprising that many vocational rehabilitation consultants attend medical reviews with the goal of returning injured workers to their full preinjury duties as soon as possible. It is the case that some will push for workers to return to work on a full-time unrestricted basis when it is not suitable for the injured worker. It is important, in the circumstances, to realise that the injured worker has the right to choose their own vocational rehabilitation provider.
Foyle Legal workers compensation lawyers Perth provides assistance as personal injury lawyers to injured people on a no win no fee lawyers perth basis, and at Foyle Legal your first attendance is obligation free.
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