Managing Ill and Injured Employees

Managing ill or injured employees involves a range of competing operational, legal and medical considerations.

Whether it is a short term, long term, work-related or non-work-related illness or injury, these matters require careful consideration; a clear understanding of your obligations; knowledge of the employee’s rights and obligations; and compassion.

Common mistakes we see when managing ill and injured employees

  • Not understanding obligations in relation to an employee who has a workplace injury or illness.
  • Not seeking legal advice before managing and/or dismissing an ill or injured employee.
  • Not seeking appropriate medical evidence before managing and/or dismissing an ill or injured employee.
  • Not challenging workers’ compensation claims, particularly psychological injury claims, when the employer has a reasonable basis for doing so.

Key risks of getting it wrong

Managing an ill or injured employee and/or terminating their employment, needs to be handled very carefully with a thorough process. If an employer fails to do so, it will be difficult to defend any claim commenced by the employee, such as an unfair dismissal claim; general protections claims; discrimination complaint and/or a claim for breaching workers’ compensation legislation.  

How can we help you?

Several cases highlight the importance for employers to follow a fair and reasonable process when managing ill or injured employees. Given the complexities of dealing with ill and injured employees and the risks associated with getting it wrong, we strongly recommend you speak to one of our experienced Employment Lawyers before acting. We can inform you of the risks you may have as well as provide a procedure to minimise those risks.

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