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Melino Legal rates as Leading Defendant Workers Compensation Firm in South Australia 2023

Melino Legal and our Firm Principal Tahlia Melino have  been recognised in separate categories in the 2023 Doyles Guide as Leading Defendant Workers Compensation (Firm) and Leading Defendant Workers Compensation (Solicitor) We congratulate our team for their ongoing commitment and drive in assisting clients navigate legal issues and delivering pragmatic and excellent advice and representation in compensation matters.   ...

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Job descriptions are not contracts of employment and the inability of an employee to undertake a duty within his job description does not of itself justify dismissal – read what the SA Employment Tribunal had to say in this article about an employee who was terminated after he lost his drivers license

Stevens v City of Victor Harbor [2023] SAET 67 (14 August 2023) The South Australian Employment Tribunal is witnessing a rising number of cases related to unfair dismissals, thus emphasising the increasing importance for employers to familiarise themselves with handling such disputes. In the recent case of Stevens v City of Victor Harbor [2023] SAET 67 (14 August 2023), Deputy President Judge Lieschke presided over a dispute involving section 108 of the Fair Work Act 1994, focusing on the question of whether a termination could be characterized as unduly harsh or unreasonable. This case underscores the crucial lesson that, in order...

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Eggers v Return to Work Corporation of South Australia [2023] SAET 17

Earlier this month, the South Australian Employment Tribunal (SAET) held that the best way to determine a change in a worker’s AWE rate is the use of comparators, that is, another worker in a similar role as the worker before the worker was injured. The case of Eggers explores what information is necessary to best determine a change in the AWE rate. Mr Eggers sought an order pursuant to s45(4) or the Return to Work Act increasing his weekly payments to reflect the overtime he would have worked but for his injury. Mr Eggers’ original AWE already included a component of overtime. RTWSA...

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Last Friday the Supreme Court published its decision in Morris. In that case the Full Court found that a worker who is totally incapacitated for work can breach the obligation of mutuality.

The Supreme Court of Appeal finds a worker can breach mutuality even when there is a total incapacity for work - revisiting workers contractual obligations to establish an entitlement to compensation DEPARTMENT FOR CHILD PROTECTION v MORRIS [2022] SASCA 131 (15 December 2022) The Supreme Court of South Australia has handed down its decision in Morris. The question of law arising from this matter was whether a breach of the “obligation of mutuality” referred to in s48(3)(g) of the Return to Work Act 2014 does not apply to a worker who has total incapacity for work for reason of a work injury. Ms...

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Abd El Salam v RTWSA – the merits of out of time disputes

Mr Rani Abd El Salam (the worker), lodged a claim for compensation in February 2016 for an injury he claims to have sustained in a fall at a workplace on 27 August 2015 (the fall). The claim was rejected on 15 July 2016 by RTWSA. The worker filed an Application for Review in September 2020, 4 years and 1 month beyond the 1-month limitation period. The worker asserts that he did not receive the rejection letter and argues that an extension of time is required. The worker asserts that after arriving in Adelaide, he spent lots of time at Nik’s BBQ on...

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Franck v Return to Work Corporation of South Australia and Wrightville Services P/L [2022] SAET 122 (8 September 2022)

In this case article we discuss the costs ramifications on an appeal that was pursued by the worker where no error of law was identified- In the abovementioned appeal, Deputy President Judges Gilchrist, Crawley and Calligeros considered whether the trial judge’s findings of facts were errors of law and whether it was reasonable that Mr Franck pay both the Return to Work Corporation and Wrightville Services’ costs. At trial it was held that Mr Franck did not injure his wrist at work and had in fact lied about injuring it at home. On appeal, Mr Franck argued that the trial judge “erred...

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Pre-approval application for spinal cord stimulator – was it reasonable and in consequence of a work injury?

Georgoudis v Return to Work SA [2022] SAET 105 In a decision delivered 9 August 2022 His Honour Deputy President Judge Crawley considered whether the insertion of a spinal cord stimulator was reasonable and in consequence of a work injury. On 10 October 2017 Mr Georgoudis suffered a fall at work injuring various body parts including his coccyx, suffered left sided radiculopathy and a mild L5 disc protrusion. He made an application pursuant to Section 33(17) of the Act for the insertion of the spinal cord stimulator. That application was rejected by the Corporation on the basis it was not reasonably necessary either...

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Return to Work SA Amendment Bill 2022

  The Return to Work (Scheme Sustainability) Amendment Bill 2022 (SA) (the Bill) passed Parliament on 6 July 2022 and is to commence on a day to be fixed by proclamation. The Bill will amend the Return to Work Act 2014 (SA) (the Act).   We summarise some of the key changes.   Change of seriously injured worker meaning The Bill will amend what it means to be classified as a seriously injured worker under Part 2 Division 4 of the Act by increasing the whole person impairment threshold (WPI). The Bill changes the threshold percentage to 35% or more in the case of physical injury however the...

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Jackermis v Woolworths – more than one economic loss payment?

Jackermis v Woolworths (SA) (RTWSA as intervener) [2022] SAET 74   In a judgment delivered by the Full Tribunal of the South Australian Employment Tribunal in Jackermis v Woolworths and Return to Work Corporation of South Australia delivered 14 June 2022 it was held that a worker who suffered a further work injury occurring subsequent in time to an earlier work injury is entitled to a further lump sum pursuant to Section 56 of the Return to Work Act, 2014. The decision concerns deduction pursuant to Section 56(6) of the Act concerning economic loss The Full Bench recorded in paragraph 109 of its...

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