Workers Compensation

Redundancy Implications for Injured Commonwealth Workers

TGB's Victoria Bell says recent job cuts by Australia Post and Telstra are particularly concerning for injured workers.

TGB’s Victoria Bell says recent job cuts by Australia Post and Telstra are particularly concerning for injured workers. 

In June 2014 Australia Post announced that some 900 employees would lose their jobs, effectively being made redundant, reportedly due to the declining demand for letters service.

They are not the only national business to announce cuts, with Telstra recently making a similar announcement, slashing more than 600 jobs as they moved large parts of its workforce overseas to support its growth in the Asia region.

It is disappointing and unfortunate to see icons of the Australian telecommunications industry forced to cut employment due to changes in technology and communication needs.

The situation is often even more unfortunate for the many hard working Australians in such companies who have suffered injuries during the course of their employment.

Workers are entitled to a number of payments under the Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Act. Once a worker is faced with a redundancy their entitlements can be severely impacted if independent legal advice is not sought, prior to accepting any redundancy.

Injured workers are potentially entitled to weekly payments until the age of 65, but this ceases upon the acceptance of a redundancy offer. So if you are receiving weekly payments due to a work injury, the decision to take a redundancy will have significant financial implications on you.

In addition, taking a redundancy is also likely to end entitlements to medical expenses for the rest of your life. With medical treatment becoming increasingly expensive, this is a cost you should not forego readily. Particularly if there is a likelihood that you will need surgery at some point in the future due to your work injury.

So before considering taking a redundancy ensure you seek legal advice from a lawyer that is highly experienced in advising commonwealth workers of the implications, which are significant.

In summary for those who are receiving work injury payments and facing redundancy, it is critical to seek independent legal advice before any agreement is signed, so that you know what your complete entitlements are. When the redundancy is signed, it is likely to be too late.

For advice about your redundancy or injury matter, contact lawyers Victoria Bell or Tim White on (08) 8212 1077 or register online here.