• Electrician Ross received no assistance finding new career - a snapshot of the real life damage
  • Ten locations to collect face-to-face stories from injured workers
  • Stories will be included in submission to the Law & Justice Committee review of workers compensation

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Ross was an electrician who injured his knee in May 2011 working at a sugar mill. He returned to work after his injury on restricted duties, but his doctor never cleared him for the full job he used to perform.

After about nine months, his employer terminated him on the basis it couldn't ethically offer him a position, because it would always have stairs he could not climb.

All requests for retraining Ross sent to the workers compensation insurer were refused, even when he asked to complete a certificate as a teacher's aide when he was volunteering at a school.

Ross has since been hired as a teacher's aide, even though he was refused retraining on the basis it was unlikely he could ever get that job.

"I pity anyone on workers comp who is a young person with a family. If I had been in that situation when I was injured, I would be destitute," Ross said.

Ross's story is typical of those chronicled in a new report into workers compensation. 

Spurred on by the damning findings regarding return to work by Macquarie University’s Centre for Workforce Futures - Unions NSW is conducting a Return to Work Inquiry.

The report found injured workers were receiving limited support to return to work and that bullying and discrimination was undermining workers’ return to work prospects.

The Unions NSW Return to Work Inquiry is conducting hearings all over NSW and has met with workers who have shared their return-to-work experiences and the obstacles preventing them from returning to work.

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