A common question we are asked by our clients at Perth City Legal, is:
Do I Have to Disclose My Previous Workers’ Compensation Claim, to my new or prospective employer?
There are a few factors to consider, before you can answer this question. Making a workers’ compensation claim is a workplace right. An employer who discriminates against a worker who has made a workers’ compensation claim may be in breach of the Fair Work Act. Having said that, there are some circumstances, where it is recommended you should disclose a previous claim.
It is discrimination if the prospective employer does not hire you because you have previously made a workers’ compensation claim. It is not discrimination if the prospective employer does not hire you because you are not able to carry out the job requirements.
Know Your Rights
A prospective employer has no right to ask whether you have had a previous workers’ compensation claim. However, a prospective employer does have the right to know if you have an injury or medical condition that will impact on your ability to perform your work duties.
What to Do if Asked About a Previous Claim
If you are asked by the prospective employer about any previous claims, injuries or conditions, you should be honest. If the injury is now resolved and the claim is closed, you should disclose those details to your prospective employer. If your claim has closed but you are left with some restrictions, you should advise the prospective employer of this, as it may impact on your ability to perform your duties in the role.
If you are not asked about previous claims, injuries or conditions by the prospective employer, you are not obliged to disclose that information. But if you do have an injury or condition that may impact on your ability to safely undertake your work duties you should disclose that information to the prospective employer. An employer has a legal duty to maintain a safe workplace for all its employees.
When You Should Disclose
In most cases, it is recommended you disclose previous workers’ compensation claims. Consider the below two scenarios:
- If you deny having had a workers’ compensation claim on your employment application and the employer later finds out about the previous claim;
- You are re-injured, and during the investigation of the new claim details of the previous claim are uncovered
In the above two scenarios, you may not be eligible for compensation under the new employer’s workers’ compensation policy.
Get Expert Advice from An Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Perth City Legal are experts in Workers’ Compensation law in Western Australia. If you need advice on an existing or previous workplace claim, get in touch with our experienced team for a confidential consultation.
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