Gaius Whiffin featured on 2GB discussing workers compensation claims - 17 July 2021
Gaius Whiffin providing Q & A on the 2GB Chris Smith Show discussing Workers Compensation 17 July 2021
CS – Chris Smith/GW –Gaius Whiffin /C1,2,3, etc – Callers
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Read the transcript below:
CS Now Dianne is one of our first emailers, she called through, she’s working from home, is concerned about her home, work station set-up, can she ask her employer for assistance?
GW Well Chris, yes she can, just because you’re working at home your employer still has the same obligations, the same compensation obligations, the same obligations to provide a safe workplace. Especially in terms of desk heights, phone set up and so forth, so it’s important that she ask those questions of her employer.
CS What about funding for you know computers, laptops and other stationary?
GW Well generally if you’re able to work at home you’re going to have that sort of general set up in terms of laptop, in terms of stationary and so forth. It’s up to your employer to provide it. If you have a laptop and you say well look I can use this to do the work then that’s fine too.
CS Okay, a related question has come in from Ken, who’s also working from home. He took his lunch break to walk his dog and get his daily exercise but was struck by a car while crossing at a pedestrian crossing, so is he covered by worker’s compensation?
GW Short answer again Chris is yes, in his case he would be, he’d also be covered by the Motor Accidents Compensation Act if he was on a pedestrian crossing. Workers compensation takes precedent initially, so you need to make the worker’s compensation claim first and if that failed you could go for the other claim, but there’s been some interesting cases, during the last pandemic a fellow that again took his normal lunch break, went surfing because he worked somewhere in the northern beaches, and actually had a pretty significant injury, required back surgery, and he’s covered. On the other hand a lady that went for a jog at 9 in the morning, even after starting working at home at 5 o’clock, wasn’t covered, so it does depend a bit on the circumstances but I think Ken would be covered.
CS Wow, it really has changed the landscape this working from home and while we’re talking about the work restrictions, what are a person’s rights if they actually contract covid whilst working?
GW Okay, well obviously not, I mean it would be interesting if they contracted it working at home because of a family member, I hadn’t thought about that one, but certainly if you’re in the workplace and you contract covid you’re entitled to compensation, you’re entitled to compensation to what time off work you need, up to two and a half years, obviously it won’t be that long, entitled to medical expenses for up to two years and we don’t know what the ongoing effects might be at this stage but if there are ongoing effects, you may be entitled to compensation for a lump sum at the end of the day, I doubt it but it depends what ongoing effects might be there.
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