Fact Sheet 25: Protection of Employment

Under Section 99 of the Industrial Relations Act, an employer cannot dismiss employees within six months of them sustaining a work-related injury or illness.

What this means for you

If an employee is injured at work or suffers a work-related illness and is unable to do their job their position is protected for at least six months.

Even if the employer terminates a worker after the six-month period and they then becomes fit to do their job again, the union can apply to have them reinstated within two years of the termination.

It is recommended that if you are injured at work you:

· Notify your employer in writing, preferably through a workers compensation claim; and
· Advise your treating doctor about this injury or illness.

Follow these steps even if you don’t require treatment or time off work so you have a record of the incident. This will provide your union with evidence in the event they need to make workers compensation claim on your behalf or represent you in an unfair dismissal claim in the future.

EXAMPLE: The Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association successfully prosecuted an employer for breaching the law by dismissing an employee within six months of her injury.

To apply for reinstatement a medical certificate is needed confirming you are fit for work. Your union has up to 2 years to make this application.

Download more info:
Click here to download Fact Sheet 25: Protection of Injured Workers

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