Workers compensation can be a daunting and complex area of workplace relations, as recently demonstrated for three long-term ASU members at The Salvation Army in Geelong.
Workers experienced psychological injuries after a threatening exchange with their manager. Each member received an almost identical letter from the same manager, that was threatening and unwarranted.
These letters included content from off the record and confidential conversations that members had understood to be private and implied threats of disciplinary action and termination of employment.
The members involved were quite rightly shocked and outraged, resulting in significant time off work due to the high-level impact on their health and well-being.
From the very beginning of this disturbing saga, the ASU provided expert advice and assistance. This resulted in the workers’ compensation claims for psychological injuries being accepted by the insurer. Importantly, each ASU member was given advice regarding:
- the conduct of the Independent Medical Examination (IME),
- the right to a support person in the examination (based on advice from the Australian Medical Association) and
- what to expect in the medical consultation.
Thankfully, each members’ claim was accepted. They’re now receiving medical treatment with expenses paid for by the workers compensation scheme.
The ASU is assisting in the return-to-work programs and has also provided a ‘virtual legal briefing’ from workers compensation specialists from Maurice Blackburn Lawyers in Geelong.
Through the whole process, the ASU was by these member’s side.