19 March 2015
|Charges||One charge of the worker failing to notify return to work or engagement in a calling|
The worker allegedly sustained a left shoulder injury while working as a labourer. The worker lodged an application for compensation with a workers' compensation insurer. The insurer accepted the worker's claim and paid compensation.
The worker engaged in a calling by conducting a pool inspection business, and performing work as a pool safety inspector.
The worker was receiving compensation at the time of performing the pool inspections. The worker did not notify the insurer of his engagement in a calling as required by section 136 of the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003.
The insurer had regular contact with the worker during his statutory claim and frequently discussed his progress and rehabilitation with him. These conversation included discussions about possible host employment (that is, employment at a different employer if he was unable to perform work at his pre-injury employer).
The worker signed a notice of claim for damages. The notice of claim detailed the worker's engagement in a calling.
Workers' Compensation Regulator costs - $3,681.40
|Consideration for Prevention|
A worker should notify the insurer if they engage in a calling. That is, they should notify the insurer if they perform any activity giving rise to the receipt of remuneration or reward including self-employment or the performance of an occupation, trade, profession, or carrying on of a business, whether or not the person performing the activity received remuneration.
A worker should be honest about his/her symptoms and capacity to work when speaking to the insurer and/or medical practitioners. This includes the worker's capacity to perform work which is different to the work they were performing when they injured themselves.
If the worker believes they are able to engage in another calling (i.e. not the employment at which they injured themselves) then the worker should notify the insurer. If the insurer has a true understanding of the worker's capacity then they can properly manage the worker's claim.
It may be possible to arrange for the worker to engage in the alternate calling under a host employment arrangement. This allows the worker to perform the alternate calling while still receiving weekly benefits.
Alternatively, if the worker notifies the insurer that they intend to engage in an alternate calling then they may not be entitled to receive weekly benefits, but they might be entitled to receive compensation for medical and rehabilitation expenses.