|Date||20 July 2018|
|Court||Brisbane Magistrates Court|
|Case||The worker was charged for engaging in a calling while in receipt of workers' compensation benefits without notifying the insurer.|
The worker made an application for compensation for a work related wrist injury which was said to have occurred on 29 January 2017. At that time, the worker was employed as a truck driver's offsider.
The insurer accepted the claim as an aggravation of an injury and paid the worker applicable benefits from 30 January 2017.
On 3 July 2017, the worker was sent a letter from the insurer advising that if the worker was receiving any other payments, the worker should advise of those benefits as it would ensure they are paid at the correct compensation rate and that failure to do so would mean that the insurer may recover any overpayments.
Host employment was not arranged due to the worker suffering from a non-work related knee injury. However, the work-related injury also continued and the insurer paid the worker weekly compensation benefits and medical expenses throughout 2017.
On 10 October 2017 the worker had a telephone conversation with a customer advisor from the insurer where the worker was asked about their plans after the surgery. The worker said that they had been in touch with their contacts about working in the office side of things and getting away from heavy truck driving. The worker was asked if they were working and the worker denied this. The customer advisor then advised the worker of their obligation to notify WorkCover when they return to work, which would mean that payments would stop.
On 17 October 2017 the customer advisor spoke to the worker again and advised that the insurer had received a tip off that the worker had been working while in receipt of benefits. The worker advised that they weren't getting paid but just learning how they work. The worker was then advised that the tip off was that the worker was a full time permanent employee with the second employer and the worker then confirmed that was the case.
Enquires made with the second employer confirmed that the worker was employed as a monthly full time permanent employee and had been so employed since 18 September 2017.
The worker was sent an overpayment notice and they had repaid the amount that they received on account of their return to a calling prior to the prosecution being commenced.
|Common Law rights extinguished?||Yes|
|Consideration for Prevention|
A worker should not engage in a calling while on workers' compensation benefits without notifying the insurer. A worker should also not make be dishonest when asked by the insurer whether they are working.