Self-insurers & workers compensation
Some years ago, the Queensland Government allowed large employers such as Woolworths, Coles and Myer to become ‘self-insured’ for Workers Compensation.
Q. What difference does it make to my Workers Compensation Claim if I am employed by a Self-Insurer?
A. It should make no difference. Self-Insurers are bound by the same legislation as that which governs WorkCover Queensland. The only difference for claimants is that your employer (through their Insurance Agent), not WorkCover Queensland, will manage and pay your claim and rehabilitation directly.
However, we have had some problems with Self-Insurers and listed below are some of the myths we have had to counteract.
Myth: Casuals are not covered under Workers Compensation.
Truth: Casual employees are covered under Workers Compensation if injured, just the same as full and part-timers.
Myth: You have to go and see a company-referred Doctor.
Truth: The injured worker has the right to choose their own treating Doctor.
Myth: A Manager has to go with you to medical consultations.
Truth: You do not have to agree to this if you are not comfortable with it.
Myth: My Manager would not give me a Workers Compensation Claim/Application Form when I asked her for one.
Truth: Your employer has a legal obligation to provide you with a Workers Compensation Claim/Application Form if and when you ask for one, regardless of their own opinion on whether or not you should lodge one. They are not Doctors and have no right to deny you a Claim Form.
Myth: When I submitted my Workers Compensation Medical Certificate to my Manager stating that I was to take a week off due to my injury, he was not happy with the Certificate and demanded that I go back to the Doctor and get the Medical Certificate changed so that I could come back to work straight away.
Truth: A Workers Compensation Medical Certificate is a valid legal document and reflects the Doctor’s medical opinion regarding your current capacity to work. The manager of your workplace is not a qualified Doctor and so has no right to question a valid Medical Certificate. You have a right to stand by the Medical Certificate and refuse to get it changed.
If you are told something about Workers Compensation or your Claim that doesn’t sound or seem fair, please contact the Union for advice and/or assistance.
The Queensland Government is currently conducting a five year review into the WorkCover system.
The SDA has made a significant contribution to this review. The Industrial Relations Minister Grace is considering numerous reccomendations to improve the legislation at present; we look forward to further improvements for injured workers. We will update you next year as this progresses.