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Workers comp awarded for phobia-inducing transfer

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HC Online | 10 Dec 2015, 07:50 AM Agree 0
A Centrelink employee who developed a fear of fulfilling her duties after a transfer has been awarded compensation by a judge.
  • Juliet | 10 Dec 2015, 12:11 PM Agree 0
    People like this should be shot. There is no place for people like this in society. Its all in her head, and she makes up things because she doesn't want to work in certain areas. She's already a waste of taxpayer money.
  • sean | 10 Dec 2015, 01:38 PM Agree 0
    Harsh Juliet.
  • Beets | 10 Dec 2015, 03:28 PM Agree 0
    Harsh but it's the truth.
  • HerLadyship | 10 Dec 2015, 06:37 PM Agree 0
    It sounds to me like this employee had considerable psychological problems, and I suspect the fact that she had a medical certificate with info that she didn't want her employer to see may have included pre-existing psychological disorder(s). Perhaps the psych disorders developed as a result of her chronic fatigue problem, but it sounds more like she didn't have the necessary skills/health/resilience/competence to carry out the new job, and then claimed the job caused her psych & health problems(???). It's hard to believe that she received compensation for this; looks to me like the new job was too much for her and she blamed the job for causing her psych issues. Perhaps the whole thing wasn't investigated very persistently; I think the employer could have possibly proven she had pre-existing conditions that she hid, so the employer had no way of knowing she would not have been able to competently fill the new position. An interesting one, with some info well-hidden... I bet there is more to this story!
  • Tom | 15 Dec 2015, 10:27 AM Agree 0
    Sorry for you Juliet but the Nazi's lost, so no concentration camps or gas chambers for people with illness and disability in this country. The ignorant disgusting thoughts exposed here demonstrate why people with illness and disability have such a hard time trying to contribute to society, I mean what do you want, for people to work or not. ME/CFS is a serious, physical illness likened by those that actually know what they are taking about with the functional impairment of stage 4 cancer, aids, or serious MS and Lupus. Don't assume that you are immune chronic illness can strike anyone good luck
  • DMac | 15 Dec 2015, 02:42 PM Agree 0
    At what point does an employee need to take responsibility for their own wellbeing ? Whilst I agree with Tom that mental illness can become as debilitating as physical illness, there comes a point where the employer can no longer accommodate some restrictions. We choose to apply for certain positions , if they make us sick, the employer should assist in our return to health, if the job isn't what we expected or we didn't like it - take responsibility and move on. Choose something else
  • Jenny | 16 Dec 2015, 09:58 AM Agree 0
    If an employee has a medical condition, be it physical &/or psychological, the employer has an obligation to understand what they ARE fit for and if possible to provide duties that meet those requirements.
    This lady asked to go back to a role that she was fit for, was coping with and apparently performing acceptably. That is not an unreasonable request and shows a level of self awareness of her own limitations. The position still existed within the structure and hadn't been filled, surely it makes sense to let her go back to it?? Sounds to me like in their bloody mindedness the employer deserved to lose this one.
  • HR Dude | 16 Dec 2015, 03:46 PM Agree 0
    There is probably a hell of a lot more info that isn't included in this article. It does seem on face value that the person in question had pre-existing medical conditions that impacted on her ability to work. However, and this is a big however, people with chronic fatigue generally need to be more structured and ordered in their work so they get the right rest and don't become too stressed. Chronic fatigue is one of those things where you really need to self manage. Did the workplace fail to provide that reasonable adjustment to meet her disability?

    There are other questions of course, did the woman fulfill her requirements in notifying the workplace? This article would hint that she did not, but perhaps something happened between going on leave and being terminated. In the end, the workplace may have contributed to her decreased well being. Perhaps earlier termination was warranted. 'You cannot come into work until you have medical clearance from your treating doctor."

    Just a final note, the subtext behind all of this is that she was difficult to manage (for whatever reason) and was moved around rather than dealt with properly. That in itself is poor management.
  • EB | 12 Jan 2016, 01:27 PM Agree 0
    Too many questions come to mind. The sum of it is, some people are good at what they do and some are not. Some people can cope with some jobs and some can't. And if you are about to move someone from one job to another because of whatever reason, you must be quite transparent as to what the consequences may be in the long run. You must stress there is no going back if that is the case.

    We are all "too busy" yes, but we must prioritise cases such as these and given how many compensation cases are being paid out on, we must think very carefully before we take certain actions. If a case comes up we must take quick action instead of letting it run for years.
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