Employers are blacklisting people who receive work comp payments
Employers are blacklisting people who receive work comp payments

Workers blacklisted over compo claims

UNSCRUPULOUS employers are blacklisting people who have received worker's compensation payments.

The claim was made on Thursday during Finance and Administration Committee public hearing into the Queensland Government's proposed changes to the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation act.

Some workers are so scared of being discriminated against that they refuse to claim compensation when they are injured, the committee also heard.

Resources sector labour hire companies made most of the 26,000 requests to see compo histories over the past 21 months.

On October 29, 2013, the Newman Government made changes to the act to allow employers access to the histories.

The Palaszczuk government is moving to reverse that decision.

A Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union representative told the committee meeting that his organisation was aware people were missing out on jobs because of compensation claims.

"I speak in particular (about) large resources projects which use a registration of interest process and they ask for information on your previous worker compensation claims and so on," he said.

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"What we are being reported back to is that employees are being effectively shunned from the industry, unable to even apply for jobs because of this registration of interest process has brought up their names against a worker's compensation claim."

Queensland Council of Unions research and policy officer John Martin said he was alarmed by the high number of histories accessed.

"I guess that number would strike one as being alarming ....," Mr Martin told the committee.

"It is a considerable size - 26,000 would be extraordinarily high."

Housing Industry Australia Queensland director Warwick Temby said employers needed to be able to "mitigate their risks".

"In a relatively high-risk industry like house construction or residential construction more generally it is important for employers to be able to mitigate their risks," Mr Temby told the committee.

"And they need to have that sort of information at their disposal so that they can direct people to the right kind of work and not have workers who are potentially bringing a condition with them and ... exposing themselves to further injury."

The committee also heard submissions on the State Government's planned firefighter cancer compensation bid.

- APN NEWSDESK



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