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VIC Workcover Law and obtaining compensation

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by B Coleman, 13 June 2018 at 11:10 AM.

  1. B Coleman

    B Coleman Member

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    Hi,

    Just a little (sorry long) story.

    My partner injured himself at work early Dec 2017 (He worked in a factory but through a job network agency). The Job network he was with had him see a Doctor over Skype. He just said that he had pulled a muscle or something and have him a certificate of capacity for 4 days. He went back to work on light duties and the workplace had him doing repetitive work again all day with no rotations. This made his back worse so they sent him to a physio. The physio said he needed work on his back and was unable to do certain things. He again seen the Doctor over Skype and he basically said the physio didn't know what she was talking about (meanwhile the Doctor never physically seen him as he was in another state)

    My partner seen his own Doctor on 15th Dec and she provided medical certificates. We were unaware that the certificate of capacity was needed for a workcover claim and his employer (who lodged the claim) never advised him that they didn't have the correct paperwork. His personal Doctor was aware that this was under workcover.

    He finally returned to work on 12th Jan. His employer gave him 4-5 shifts over the course of 2 weeks and he told them that his back was beginning to hurt again. He was due to have a shift the next day and he received a txt advising that his shift was cancelled and was told by his employer that he was no longer needed.

    After almost 6 months of hassling the workcover insurer for the payments owed we are now told that he never had the correct certificates (he said his Physio filled out forms etc and sent them all directly to his employer) and that as it is past 90 days he is no longer entitled to any payments at all.

    His back is still sore and we cannot afford physio costs ourselves. He went to see his doctor who gave him a medical certificate for centrelink for 2 months. He also has 2 visits to a Physio and 3 to a Osteo under a health plan. The physio said he should have never returned to work without ongoing physio sessions and that his back is still not fit for work. He is in constant pain and has been on 2+ different pain medications which don't help.

    He went back yesterday to see his Doctor to try and obtain a backdated Capacity Certificate to try and at least get some payments he is owed. She is now telling him that she is not a workcover Doctor and she cannot provide the certificates. Her reason was that.'Its too Hard' She did print out all notes from when he seen her regarding his back pain etc and all results from the scans he has had. We left there extremely unhappy to say the least.

    We are now stuck and have no idea what to do. He cant work due to his back and we are struggling on his centrelink payments.

    Can he still make a claim for the backdated payments owed to him?
    How can he do it without the certificates?

    It feels like he been stuffed around by everyone involved all because its too hard for them.

    Thankyou for any advise given

    B.
     
    #1 B Coleman, 13 June 2018 at 11:10 AM
    Last edited: 13 June 2018 at 11:18 AM
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I'd help if I knew the right answer :(

    I suspect the employer has not done the correct thing by not updating their register of injuries.

    Suggest you go to your local community legal centre in the first instance.

    Was your partner a permanent employee or casual?
     
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    #2 Rod, 13 June 2018 at 10:06 PM
    Last edited: 13 June 2018 at 10:14 PM
  3. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    FYI: An employer is prohibited from engaging in the following discriminatory conduct relating to a worker pursuing a claim for compensation or for notifying an employer or WorkSafe of an injury under this legislation:
    • dismissing, or threatening to dismiss, a worker from employment
    • altering, or threatening to alter, the position of a worker to the worker's detriment
    • treating a worker less favourably than another worker in relation to promotion or re-employment.
     
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