If a worker has a work related injury and can’t work in their usual job, their employer cannot use this as a reason to dismiss them within 12 months of the injury.
This dismissal protection is created under the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003. If an employer terminates a worker in breach of this legislation, then the employer is exposed to a maximum penalty of almost $5,000.00.
A worker can ask their employer to return them to their old job within 12 months of the injury. A doctor’s medical certificate needs to be supplied to the employer proving that the worker is fit to return to their job.
If the employer refuses to take the worker back, then the worker has the option of going to the Industrial Commission to obtain an order that the employer return them to their job.
If the Industrial Commission agrees that the worker is capable of returning to their old job, the Commission can order the employer to take the worker back and set terms, like for example a start date.
A worker or employer unhappy with a decision by the Industrial Commission has the right of appeal to the Industrial Court of Queensland.