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Coles pushes for journey claims for injured workers to be dumped

Coles supermarkets dislike compensating workers hurt on way to or from work

Coles supermarkets are objecting to paying workers’ compensation claims for injuries sustained on the way to or from work or during breaks because the company says it ‘cannot control risks’. Coles is among businesses arcing up about the Queensland system for compensating staff hurt on their journeys to work. This push in Queensland to overhaul workers’ compensation rules appears to ge going in the same direction as NSW.

Coles supermarkets dislike compensating workers hurt on way to or from work - Courier Mail

Coles’ owner, Wesfarmers, has made a submission to a review of the state workers’ compensation scheme, pointing out other states restrict covering staff injured while commuting or on breaks.

“As an employer we have no control over the risks that employees are subjected to when on a journey to and from work or whilst on a recess,” Wesfarmers wrote in their submission, on behalf of Coles which self-insures under Queensland’s scheme.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland argued these “journey claims” were easily exploited. “Workers may at any time claim they are travelling to or from work and there is insufficient detail required under the legislation to prove otherwise,” CCIQ said.

Queensland Council of Unions president John Battams countered that journey claims represented only 6 per cent of overall compensation demands. He told The Courier-Mail significant numbers of Queenslanders had to travel long distances for work.

The QCU argued journey claims were an “important safeguard”.

A Parliamentary committee is examining submissions and is due to report next month. Queensland’s scheme is funded and run by the State, chiefly via the WorkCover organisation. Unionists have taken board positions but Mr Battams also dismissed conflict of interest concerns in lobbying against privatisation of the scheme, saying unionists on boards acted for the WorkCover entity rather than their organisation.

If you have been involved in an accident whilst travelling to or from work, contact us at The Personal Injury Lawyers who may be able to assist with any queries or claims. 

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