Sometimes getting back to work after a workplace injury is not a seamless transition, particularly if you can’t perform your previous role. If after an injury your doctor has certified you capable of doing some work or even your pre-injury work hours, but has placed restrictions on what type of work you can do, this can become tricky to navigate what your role at work will be with your employer. Some examples of restrictions your doctor may have provided could be a restriction in the amount of weight you are able to lift, the number of hours you are either able to sit or stand for, or a restriction on where in the workplace you are able to work.
If on your return to work your employer tells you they have no suitable duties for you or that they have changed workers compensation insurers and the new insurer will not cover you, this can be refuted. Under section 49 of the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998 (NSW) your employer must provide suitable work at your request. The employment provided needs to be suitable and so far as reasonably practicable the same as, or equivalent to, the employment you held at the time of the injury. As for the workers compensation insurer not covering you, your employer is correct in saying the new insurer will not cover you but the workers compensation insurer at the time of the injury should cover you, regardless if they are no longer your employer’s current insurer.
There are some circumstances where employment does not have to be provided, for example if providing employment is not reasonably practicable.
If you are currently facing this problem and are having difficulty with your employer providing suitable duties then please contact Everingham Solomons because Helping You is Our Business.