April 30, 2019 News

SDA members have a right to go to work, enjoy a decent wage and good working conditions and return home at the end of their shift safe and sound.

We also know that working in SDA industries is very physical and demanding. Consequently, our members get injured.


Q. I was injured at work. What do I do?
A. SDA members know that the SDA has dedicated Brisbane-based staff, namely our Information and Industrial Officers, who can assist them every step along the way of the Workers’ Compensation maze. All advice is FREE.

Q. I have just learned that my WorkCover claim has been knocked back. What do I do?
A. When approved by the Secretary, all SDA members are covered by FREE legal assistance and legal representation to fight any adverse decision. The legal costs associated with workers’ compensation can be very expensive and it is good to know that the SDA is the only union in Queensland which provides this service.

A recent example in an SDA Distribution Centre:

  • SDA member was injured at work in a Distribution Centre. He filled in the necessary paperwork and submitted his claim to his company. The company’s workers’ compensation insurer rejected the claim.
  • The SDA organised legal assistance and representation for him to fight the adverse decision. Optimum Legal Lawyers (SDA’s workers’ compensation lawyers) organised for him to see a Specialist to get more medical evidence regarding his injury.
  • Optimum Legal then made submissions to Q Comp. as part of the formal Review process. This led to Q Comp. overturning the insurer’s rejection decision and substituting a decision to refer the case to a Medical Assessment Tribunal for determination.
  • Optimum legal continued to represent the SDA member at his hearing before the Medical Assessment Tribunal, the result of which was that the Tribunal directed the insurer to accept and to pay the SDA member’s claim.

As a result, the SDA member was able to get surgery done which was necessary to repair the injury. He also received weekly benefits to replace his lost wages both during and after this surgery while he was off work recuperating. Finally, he received a lump sum payment for a permanent impairment.


The cost to the SDA to provide our member with this legal representation was over $2,600 and the benefits that he received as an outcome from this (which he would otherwise not have received) totalled in excess of $10,000.

Total cost to SDA member– NOTHING!


Q I am not in the SDA but my work colleague is. What happens to me?
A. Very few Unions fund workers’ compensation legal costs. The SDA is happy to provide this service FREE to all SDA members. If you are not in the SDA, you are on your own. You will have to fight and pay all your legal costs whether you win or lose the case. Quite simply, you should join the SDA today. See your SDA Shop Steward or Delegate and fill in an SDA membership form. Alternatively, visit to join on-line.
Retail, Warehouse and Fast Food employees NEED to be a member of the SDA or else have very deep pockets.