One question that is commonly asked by injured people who have an accepted workers compensation claim is whether they can resign from their employment and what effect that will have on the workers compensation weekly payments they are receiving.
Many injured workers are unhappy with the way of their employer treat them after a workers compensation claim and it is common for the employer to give them work which can seem fairly meaningless for example someone who usually drives a haul truck in a mine may be made to do office work filing reports even though they have no experience in this kind of work and do not fully understand it.
Should the worker remain with their pre-injury employer?
Foyle Legal generally suggests that if it is still viable for a worker to remain with their pre-injury employer they should remain with the pre-injury employer.
The reason lies in the practice of workers compensation law rather than the law itself. For one reason or another insurers are usually more hostile in the event that a worker chooses to resign from their employment and while the situation varies from one type of injury to another the reason is often that the employer and insurer see the injured person as being lazy in that they are physically able to do some kind of work for the employer but choose not to do that work and but instead choose to resign. The employer and insurer often think that the injured person is a freeloader and just wants to live on the workers compensation weekly payments the insurer is making to the injured person.
When can weekly payments of compensation be ceased or discontinued?
Section 61 of the Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act it states that unless a notice is provided by the insurer in writing stating that they intend to discontinue or reduce weekly payments of compensation then the worker is entitled to weekly payments of compensation unless he agrees to a session of his weekly payments or has returned to work. This should not be construed as return to work in any position, the case law is that the worker must return to work in a similar position to their pre-injury work as a wage to earning member of the workforce.
What if a workers employer stops paying?
In the event that a worker resigns from his employment and his employer ceases to pay workers compensation weekly payments a worker may bring an application with WorkCover Western Australia alleging in unlawful cessation of weekly payments of compensation , this should be done as soon as possible as there is a general time limit of 21 days which can be extended by an arbitrator, however, it is preferable that workers do not have to apply for leave to extend this 21 day period. If there is a finding that there has been an unlawful cessation of weekly payments of compensation then the case law indicates that the worker will be entitled to workers compensation weekly payments from the date of the breach, and does not have to prove the extent of his or her incapacity.
Disclaimer and About Foyle Legal
The information in this article is General in nature and should not be relied on in place of legal advice specific to the circumstances of your workers compensation claim.
Foyle legal Personal Injury Lawyer specialises in the area of workers compensation law and commonly represents injured people at WorkCover Western Australia, the court for workers compensation in Western Australia. Foyle Legal represents injured people on a no win no fee basis in personal injury claims. If you have made a workers compensation claim in Western Australia and are experiencing difficulty Foyle Legal can help you. Foyle Legal offers an obligation free first consultation in respect of workers compensation claims. If you would like to discuss your workers compensation claim with us you can contact for Foyle Legal on 0408727343 or you can visit the Foyle Legal website at foylelegal.com.