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Date 15 July 2021
  • Charge 1 – Section 533/535 Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (WCRA) – Fraud
  • Charges 2-4 – Section 534(2) – Stating false or misleading information
  • (Charge 2 withdrawn at sentence)
Court Maroochydore Magistrates Court
Plea Guilty
Case The charges arose from the worker lying about sustaining an injury at work when it in fact occurred while they were not working.

On 29 November 2019, the worker cut their index finger while away from the work site carrying out non-work-related activities. They attended on a general practitioner (GP) for treatment on the same day and were signed off work until 2 December 2019.

The worker returned to the same GP on 3 December 2019 and was provided with another medical certificate, with which they commenced a claim for compensation.

On 9 December 2019, the worker told a WorkCover customer service representative they had cut their finger at work while they was cleaning some glue off a tile and the knife slipped, cutting their finger. They said an apprentice was there at the time and they were on the roof of a worksite.

The worker's claim was accepted on 11 December 2019 and they were paid compensation backdated to 29 November 2019.

On 2 May 2020, the worker sent an email to another WorkCover staff member reiterating their claim that they was on the worksite and had cut their finger when a knife slipped cleaning a tile.

In fact, the worker was not at the worksite and was carrying out activities which were unrelated to work when they cut their finger. The apprentice provided a statement to the effect that the apprentice was not there for any injury and the worker had told them that they cut themself offsite and not to tell the owner.

  • Charge 1 – Fraud – $2,000.00 fine
  • Charge 2 – No evidence to offer
  • Charges 3-4 – False or misleading statement – Convicted, not further punished
Restitution $415.00
Costs $6,400.00
Common Law rights extinguished? Yes
Conviction Recorded
Consideration for Prevention

Workers must be honest about the circumstances in which they are injured. Even when actual pecuniary loss to the insurer is minimal, fraud has a flow on effect to everyone in the community, including costing other people jobs, and deterrence is of paramount importance.