GFC Chelsea Heights Pty Ltd pleaded guilty at the Frankston Magistrates’ Court last week to three offences under the Accident Compensation Act.
The company, which operated the Fenix Fitness Club in Chelsea Heights, admitted it had failed to plan the return to work of an injured worker, provide suitable employment and make a weekly compensation payment.
The court was told the worker had injured her knee at work on 13 July 2010 and was unfit for work until 22 December 2010, when a doctor certified her fit for sedentary duties.
The worker sent a certificate to GFC, which claimed it was unaware of the certificate. However, WorkSafe investigators located the certificate in the worker’s employment file when they visited the premises in April 2011.
The company also admitted they paid the worker her monthly wage three weeks late.
Magistrate Graham Keil fined the company $7000, without conviction, and also ordered it pay $17,500 in costs.
The court heard that since the offences, GFC had been bought out by a company which had policies and procedures in place to ensure it didn’t happen again.
WorkSafe Return to Work Director, Ross Jones, said employers could not ignore their return to work obligations.
"Employers have a legal obligation to provide injured workers with suitable employment for 52 weeks after their injury, when a worker is unable to perform their pre-injury role," he said.
“WorkSafe’s Return to Work Inspectors visit employers to ensure this obligation is being met.”
“We offer a range of services that is simple to access so that employers are aware of their obligations if a worker is injured.”
“Helping to get an injured worker back to safe work is not only good for business, as it keeps claims costs low, but it also helps improve the worker’s mental and physical health.”
For further information about return to work, please visit: www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/return-to-work.
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