ReturnToWorkSA pursues scheme dishonesty

(22 December 2020) South Australian workers and employers can be confident in ReturnToWorkSA’s vigilance in prosecuting dishonesty in South Australia’s workers compensation system.

On 18 December 2020, in the South Australian Employment Tribunal, Deputy President Magistrate Cole convicted a worker of two offences under the Return To Work Act. The worker was convicted and placed on a good behaviour bond for a period of twelve months. The worker was also ordered to pay investigation costs of $15,000 and prosecution costs of $3,500 together with Victims of Crime levy and court costs.

In his consideration of submissions on sentencing, Deputy President Magistrate Cole accepts that the worker’s compensation scheme in general relies upon honest communications from applicants and that general deterrence is an important but not determinative consideration in imposing penalty.

Michael Francis, CEO of ReturnToWorkSA advises that ‘this recent decision is a reminder to those who wish to defraud the Scheme. The vast majority of workers and employers do the right thing. However, our enforcement strategy for dealing with dishonesty is robust.’

‘If you defraud the work injury insurance system by making dishonest claims, ReturnToWorkSA will pursue criminal charges.’ said Mr Francis.

If you are aware of someone defrauding the workers compensation system, you can call ReturnToWorkSA on 13 18 55.