Can I sack an injured worker in receipt of workers’ compensation payments?

Yes, but depending on their capacity it could be a very expensive.

It is illegal under the Act to terminate a worker with an open workers’ compensation claim purely because they have a claim and may be unable to perform their normal duties. You are required to hold that position open for twelve months.

However, you can sack an injured worker under the same conditions that you would for a worker that wasn’t on workers compensation. If there are circumstances such as gross and wilful misconduct, a worker can be terminated following specific guidelines.

You have to notify WorkCover with 30 days notice of your intent.

The additional expense may be incurred because if you sack a worker that is not fully fit for full pre injury duties you must continue to pay their wages until they prove a capacity to earn the same income in an alternative job, or the insurer closes the claim by other means

The problem in this situation is that you have no control of the worker and therefore limited ability to prove they have a capacity, you are dependent on third parties . They are entitled to $190,000 in wages under the current entitlements which can be used as partial payments for the months / years it takes to prove a pre-injury capacity.


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Filed under Aurenda, Workers Compensation, Workplace Injury

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