Many Western Australian employers do not have the most up-to-date wording of the “Section 79 disclaimer” on their employment applications and pre-employment medical screening questionnaires.
It may seem like only a minor thing to be concerned about, but if you need to rely on this disclaimer in a dispute, you want to make sure that it’s correct!
In fact, running a Google search on ‘Section 79’ found that not one WA employment application in the first 5 pages of search results correctly referenced both the name of the Act and the disclaimer wording, with many applications found online still referring to the legislation as the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act – which changed names in 2005!
We suggest that you double-check all documentation related to your employment application and screening process to ensure that your wording is up-to-date. Our suggested wording for the disclaimer related to disclosure of previous injuries is:
Section 79 of the Western Australian Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 gives an arbitrator discretion to refuse to award compensation which would otherwise be payable where it is proved that the worker has, at the time of seeking or entering employment in respect of which he claims compensation for an injury, wilfully and falsely represented himself as not having previously suffered from the injury.
Make sure that you have the correct name of the legislation (“Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981“) and that your disclaimer refers to ‘injury’, not ‘disability’.
Reference: Western Australia Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981, Part III, Division 8, Section 79