Discrimination Disability and the Human Rights Commission

2000px-Handicapped_Accessible_sign.svgIWSN meeting with the Human Rights Commission inquiry today

Willing to Work: National Inquiry into Employment Discrimination Against Older Australians and Australians with Disability

Firstly a mea culpa.

I have always held out that I don’t go to a meeting with any government officials without firstly inviting at least one member to come along.

I have been invited to one such meeting today, and…ummm… I forgot to invite a member. The meeting is with the Human Rights Commission (federal) and they are wanting to talk with me, and other people (mostly unions) about the current discrimination people living with a disability have when applying for work.


I could say that I know what you might be speaking about. The constant rejections just after you’ve been asked if you have ever had a workers compensation claim, the battles with your current employer, rehab and insurers to try to keep the job you have, the numerous times you’ve been sent to a job interview or trial where no attempt has been made to accommodate your disability and the heart break at trying again and again to get a job in the current market. But we both know that what I hear isn’t what I experience, and experience counts for everything.

I have asked for a separate round-table between the Human Rights Commission and our members and I hope that will happen in the near future.

Between now and then can you put in a comment to this news story about your experience and what you would want to say if I had followed our standard procedure and invited a member along.

To those who do leave a comment I will be sure to pass them along to the people I meet today.

  • Mark

    The law has double standards here ,the insurance company will tell you and its law you do not have to disclose to a potential employer you have had workers comp or a previous injury , after all you would be silly to apply for a job you cant physically do or mentally do , where the employer gets you is if you see a company doctor and gives you bad bill of health or restriction its grounds for instant dismissal too lie on a job application , after all its all about you moving forward if i wanted the job i would do what ever it took to re enter the work force.
    as they say sometimes you have to loose to win.

  • Tracey

    I have complained to the HRC. They advised me to get legal advice. I have lodged complaint with Governor general, premier, the executive council members. If employed by a big government department like I am…the NSW DEC they pull out all covert stops to terminate or constructively dismiss. In my case they have created false medical certificates, failed to pass on my wage reconciliation schedules, created misinformation’s about my injuries and collaborated with the insurer to force unnecessary medicals . They had sought to withdraw suitable duties, engaged in non compliance with medical capacity certifications and the Hierarchy directed I be passed over for any positions what so ever so that they could effect “as they stated :there outcome” on me which is to medically retire me off because they falsely claim” she cannot do the inherent requirements of her job”….this has been a 13 year battle against discrimination. They have also engaged in financial terrorism…stuffing up and maladministering my salary and entitlements for the entire period. I have written to just about every government official.
    I was discriminated and denied procedural fairness with my WPI and my WC assessments….I can prove everything….but note WorkCover destroyed my files with an open claim and my employer interfered in the WC process by instructing the insurer to withdraw notification so that again they could exterminate me.
    I have evidentiary proof that meets the criteria of the evidence act and probative value per the admiralty system.
    I have been abused in my work place , defamed in my workplace from the get go. They the employer stated she is brain injured …i incurred a serious spinal injury ( 2002)…all AMS stated min 27% wpi but through abuse and manipulation of procedure and guidelines they keep me under the common law threshold so i would be prevented from pursuing a negligence claim.

    I am the one example of the mess the system is in when procedure, transparency and fairness goes out the window,

    please understand the government is protecting a 70 Billion dollar business here. As a wc claimant I never saw myself as entitled to anything. I was injured , I worked hard to recover and rehabilitate to resume my duties…pre injury duites because i had a first injury in 1992 when i was assaulted as a school teacher and pregnant at the time. following my return to work the insurer withheld rehabilitation services, and my employer set about terminating me….all recorded in GIPA releases SICORP management file documents.

    The tone has to change, there needs to be a cultural shift from the hierarchy to support RTW and to encourage professional development not this covert rtw removal process to dump people on a federal disability allowance.

    I am 52… the mother of 4….I have been a teacher since 1986…. just because my work load needed reducing doesn’t mean i do not have the intellectual capacity to carry out the inherent work of a professional educator.
    JUst look at what my boss stated in email correspondences ” she’s nothing but a dead body in the place”…or words to that effect- a bully a thug, an ignorant ill informed person…disability discrimination…we can only ever hope for subjective equality ….there is no level playing field and the abuse is rife.
    The government and HRC officials will know of my complain and by the way impartial lawyers require 400 an hour to take on a case like mine…that is a little more than the wc so called weekly benefit//

    I am happy to stand up for all injured workers…I have current Merit review… I have had IPC involved, SIRAS bosses involved etc…all because of discrimination and procedural abuses of legislation and guidelines so they can all get rid of me….I will not ring the bell!

  • Garry

    What I notice after being on workcover since 2009 after a motor vehicle accident while driving a bus is that insurers do not take into consideration secondary injuries that can occur from the first injury. I had a left knee operation in 2013 after a long a battle with workcover and then my knee needed a second operation in 2015 however the insurer tried every trick at their disposal to deny paying for it until my Lawyers took them to court. Now due to overuse of my right knee to protect my injured left knee, my right knee now also injured with extreme pain and swelling and a probable cartilage tear. I am waiting on an MRI to confirm that and my Lawyers have send that referral to the insurer however they have warned me to expect the insurer to deny claim. It’s all very corrupt. Also my mental health has declined greatly since my 2009 accident with Psychiatrists and my Psychologist and Doctors all saying that I have very severe PTSD, OCD, GAD etc. however the insurer managed to pay a Psychiatrist to say that I don’t have a mental illness that is caused by the 2009 accident. It’s amazing what a Doctor will do when there is enough money being paid to him. I am very vocal about my situation and I have a website and a blog describing my ongoing suffering which you are welcome to share. It is garrywatkinsonline.com.

    • Rowan

      Thanks garry

    • Garry

      I am so sorry to hear what has happened to you Tracey. I actually thought that my situation had gone on for a long time but yours is even longer than mine. I sometimes feel so terribly alone with my severe mental and physical illnesses due to my 2009 accident in Blacktown, New South Wales but just reading your comments tells me that I am not the only person who has suffered a severe workplace accident and then been poorly treated by insurers and the “hired guns” that are payed by the insurers to reach a medical finding to help the insurers to deny claims to any medical treatment. Something has to change because workcover as it stands now is very corrupt here in Australia and the Case Managers only care about forcing injured workers back into employment that they will most likely be unable to cope with so that those Case Managers receive their wages and bonuses. My Case manager at the workcover insurance company actually told me that if they see any sign of my mental illness preventing me from working then they will withdraw any support which is basically just forcing me into any employment that I will not be able to cope with. The rehabilitation provider that I was sent to see in 2014 actually told me that “you are well now” and that “you are a positive person that can find a job ” and that “your mental illness which the insurer denys claim to, is no longer bothering you”. As if it is possible to wish away and use positive thinking to cure oneself of extreme mental illness caused by the trauma of a severe workplace accident. That poorly trained individual actually claimed to be a trained Psychologist!

      Something has changed in our society where people no longer care about each other and everything is based upon a dollar value and for people who are severely injured at work while just trying to support themselves and their loved ones, this is a very sad situation that we currently find our society in.