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Dismissal protection for injured workers

If a worker has a work-related injury or disease and can't work in their usual job, employers cannot use this as a reason to dismiss them within 12 months of the injury/illness. As set out in the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (the WCRA Act), the maximum penalty is 40 units.

The worker may ask their employer to return them to their old job within 12 months after the injury/disease. A doctor's medical certificate needs to be supplied to their employer proving they are fit to return. If the employer doesn't take them back, the worker may go to the Industrial Commission to order the employer to return them to their old job. The worker can ask their union or industry body representative to help them with this process.

If the Industrial Commission supports the worker's case of being able to return to work to their old job, the court may order the employer to take them back or set terms like a start date.

A worker or employer not happy with the Industrial Commission's decision may appeal to the Industrial Court of Queensland.

For more information

Please call the Fair Work info line on 13 13 94.