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WorkSafe's Len Boehm's views on employer's compensation for injured workers

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Garden maintenance business, Renn-ta-gardener, pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates Court for failing to make weekly compensation payments to an injured worker.

The Court heard that the 43-year old worker suffered a stress injury in October 2006. Despite his workers compensation claim being accepted, Renn-ta-gardener failed to start making weekly compensation payments until two months later. A total of six compensation payments worth over $5,200 were not paid on time.

Under Victorian workers compensation laws, an employer is required to start paying their injured worker on the regular pay days within seven days of the claim being accepted.

Renn-ta-gardener were subsequently charged with not complying with workers compensation laws and was fined $1,000.

Len Boehm, Executive Director of WorkSafe Victoria , said that following an injury, workers were entitled to weekly payments if they were unable to perform their pre-injury duties or lost income because of a work-related injury or illness.

According to Len Boehm, employers have an important role in supporting their injured workers regardless of who is responsible for the injury.

Len Boehm also added that failing to make six compensation payments is not acceptable, since an injured worker has bills to pay and possibly a family to feed, like any other person.

Identifying and prosecuting cases like this helps to build awareness among employers about their legal obligations to support injured workers and the importance of helping an injured worker return to work.

Len Boehm said that WorkSafe is committed to doing everything they can to ensure that the injured workers receive the care and the support they need.

Len Boehm also warns that employers who ignore their responsibilities will be penalised.

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