There has been an upturn in the number of workers complaining about being sent to company doctors, and of company reps attending medical appointments with injured workers, according to the assistant secretary of the Western Australian Union (Union WA).
If you are in Western Australia and your job has harmed you, you might be in for a shock, as employers are increasingly sitting in on the medicals that follow. There has been an upturn in the number of workers complaining about being sent to company doctors, and of company representatives attending medical appointments with injured workers.
“There is no good reason for an employer representative to be in attendance during a medical appointment. The only reason someone will be inside a medical appointment taking notes is to potentially use that information later down the track against the worker. The kind of privacy breaches that could occur and the compromising of care in these situations is just too great.”
The Western Australian trade union body recently surveyed its members, asking about their experiences in the workers’ compensation system. Of the 1,052 respondents, almost one in eight had made a claim for compensation. Of those, 11 per cent reported that their employer had sought to be at, or was represented at, a medical assessment for a claim.
A total of 16 per cent reported feeling pressured by their employer or their insurer, 12 per cent described the experience as stressful and not worth it, and 10 per cent claimed they felt bullied and stigmatised after lodging a claim.
Unions WA said the survey results strengthened its argument for greater protections to be written into legislation, including ending the practice of employer and insurance representatives attending medical appointments with injured workers.