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Employment Law: Compensation for Unfairly Sacked Truckie

Employment Law – Background

In SR v Geelong & Surfcoast Laundry T/A Swim Alumni Pty Ltd, the Fair Work Commission ruled that a truckie involved in three accidents and an alleged road rage incident was unfairly dismissed.

Employment Law – Facts

In essence:

  • the employee was employed by Surfcoast Laundry as a casual truck driver from March 2015 until November 2016
  • the employee was dismissed for having three accidents in a year and for allegedly being involved in a road rage incident
  • however, the employee received no written warnings, was not told the reason for his dismissal at the time it occurred and was not given an opportunity to respond
  • Surfcoast Laundry claimed the dismissal was in accordance with the summary dismissal section of the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code which indicated that it was fair to dismiss an employee without notice or warning if an employer believes on reasonable grounds that an employee’s conduct was sufficiently serious to justify immediate dismissal.
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A Compensation Claim relating to Resumption of Land in 1922

Compensation Claim Background

Recently, Moore J of the Land and Environment Court, determined two separate questions in an unusual matter that related to the 1922 resumption of land in far Western NSW, i.e. the resumption of land that occurred approximately 95 years ago (see Lawson v South Australian Minister for Water and the River Murray [2017] NSWLEC 62 (Lawson)).

In 1922, the New South Wales Government resumed all land at Lake Victoria in private possession, necessary for the purposes of the transfer of those lands to the representative for South Australia for future water storage uses.

Mrs Lawson’s possessory title in the land was originally held by her great grandfather, the possessory title was then transferred to her great grandmother (Mrs Mitchell) who held the title at the date of resumption. Mrs Mitchell died in 1956 and the possessory title transferred to Mrs Lawson.

An Extension of Time

Biscoe J in 2014 (see Lawson v South Australian Minister for Water and the River Murray No 2) [2014] NSWLEC 189) had allowed Mrs Lawson, the Applicant, an extension of time to lodge a claim for compensation for the resumption of land under the Public Works Act 1912 (Public Works Act).
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Part 1: Things to know when making a workers compensation claim

Making a workers compensation claim might be important for your long term health and benefit, but at the time it can also be stressful and confusing. Knowing the facts, your rights and what to do next is the first step in resolving a difficult situation.

Below are few things to keep in mind when thinking about making a workers compensation claim:

1.  Giving an accurate and detailed account to your GP is crucial

When you see your GP for treatment of your injuries, they will record a history of the incident and details of your injuries.

In a workers compensation claim, this record is likely to be checked by the insurer as to the nature or cause of your injuries, so it is important this it is as accurate and detailed as possible.

If you need time off work because of your injuries, you should ask your doctor to complete a WorkCover certificate.

2.  Be careful about signing statements

A signed statement is a powerful piece of evidence in any compensation law claim. If you are asked to provide a statement to a WorkCover investigator, it is always best to read it, check it is correct and obtain advice from a compensation lawyer before signing it.
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