Does a WorkCover claim affect future employment?
A WorkCover claim can affect future employment.
However, any injury can affect your future employment.
This is because if you are asked by an employer whether you have a pre-existing injury you should answer truthfully.
What the employer does with that information will vary from matter to matter.
It’s hard to give an answer that covers every scenario.
Certainly in some instances a prospective employer will not wish to hire someone that presently has a WorkCover claim on foot.
There is a lot of misunderstanding regarding an employers obligations surrounding taking on an employee that has a WorkCover claim.
If you had a WorkCover claim 10 years ago which resolved eight years ago and the injury would not impact on the work required of you with the new employer, there is no reason why the claim should affect your employment prospects.
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What do I have to tell a prospective employer?
If you are asked whether you have any pre-existing injuries you are required to answer honestly – subject to the injury or injuries being relevant to your job.
For example, you are not required to disclose that you sought counselling for depression 5 years ago when you apply for a job as a retail assistant.
If you do not answer honestly when it comes to a relevant injury, and you later aggravate the injury, you will not be entitled to WorkCover, as it is a requirement that you disclose pre-existing injuries.
This is to allow the employer to make adjustments to your work to ensure that your condition is not aggravated.
Essentially, you would be letting the new employer “off the hook” if you did not disclose the injury and then reinjured yourself.
It would also cause significant difficulties in continuing to claim WorkCover benefits on the original claim, as the insurer would have a good argument that you have aggravated your condition and that your current need for treatment etc. comes from the aggravation not the original injury.
If you are not asked whether you have any pre-existing injuries, then there is no requirement to disclose injuries to the employer.
A degree of common sense needs to be applied to this however.
Obviously, if you have an injury that will affect your ability to do the job the employer requires you to do, then it would be sensible to disclose those injuries specifically.
If you were to attend the new job and then not be able to complete the tasks expected of you without some modification to the way they were performed, it is likely that your employment will not continue long there.
Is it discrimination to not give me a job based on having a WorkCover claim?
It may well be considered discriminatory to be knocked back for a job based on a WorkCover claim.
In most instances the employer is smart enough to provide reasons that do not reference the pre-existing injury or with larger employers, they may not respond to your application at all due to the volume of people applying for the job and in that way avoid the need to provide reasons as to why you didn’t get the job.
If you were informed that your application had been rejected on the basis that you had an injury or had a WorkCover claim, and that injury or claim had no bearing on the type of work that you would be expected to do in the new role then you have been discriminated against. Copyright – this is original content from TheWorkInjurySite.com.au.
You would have various rights to pursue a discrimination or victimisation claim against the prospective employer.
Whether you have been discriminated against in an instance where your injury is relevant to the job you are applying for will be determined on a case by case basis.
Having an injury and may well affect your future employment prospects. This obviously depends upon the nature of the injury and the nature of the job that you are applying for.
We can expect in general that larger employers will be more likely to hire people with pre-existing injuries than small employers.
If you are asked by a new employer or potential employer whether you have an injury it is important to answer truthfully, within reason.
You don’t need to disclose completely irrelevant injuries or conditions, but do need to disclose injuries or conditions that might affect your ability to do the job.
If you don’t get a job based on having a WorkCover claim or injury, you may have been discriminated against depending on what extent the injury of condition would affect your ability to do the tasks required in the new role.