|Date||20 November 2020|
|Court||Brisbane Magistrates Court|
|Plea||Plea of Guilty|
|Case||The employer provided false or misleading information to a registered person in relation to a worker’s claim for compensation, and failed to report information they knew to be false to the insurer.|
The employer’s father (the “worker”) was a Real Estate Agent for the company for which his son was the Director. The worker was the Director previously but transferred the directorship to the employer several weeks prior to the injury.
On 16 August 2017, the worker was attacked by several dogs while attending a property to conduct real estate business and sustained laceration injuries to his right hand. He lodged an application for compensation with WorkCover Queensland. He provided false payslips to WorkCover and WorkCover relied on these payslips when accepting the claim.
During the statutory claim, WorkCover obtained surveillance which showed the worker returning to work as a Real Estate Agent. He did not notify the insurer and he lied about returning to work and his capacity for work.
On 16 July 2018, there was a case conference with the worker, the employer and a registered person (medical provider). During that conference, the employer stated words to the effect that the worker was “not really assisting with any open homes.”
On 26 July 2018, the employer told a WorkCover Customer Advisor that the worker had “started undertaking some minor duties” as at that week in accordance with his suitable duties plan and also said that the business didn’t have a position for the work he was doing as they are just “administrative duties” for which the business already had sufficient staff.
The employer knew these statements to be false and/or misleading because at the time he made the statements, the worker had been undertaking duties as a real estate salesperson, including conducting several open homes.
The employer also failed to advise and/or correct false and/or misleading statements that he had heard the worker make to the medical provider and WorkCover.
The worker was also prosecuted and on 19 November 2020, he entered a plea of guilty to ten charges including fraud and the provision of false information. He was sentenced to serve six months in prison.
120 hours of community service, to be completed within 12 months.
|Common Law rights extinguished?||N/A|
|Consideration for Prevention|
An employer must not enable an employee to lodge a false claim for workers’ compensation.
An employer must not provide false or misleading information to a workers’ compensation insurer.
An employer must tell the insurer if they know the worker is providing false or misleading information about their workers’ compensation claim.