Chris* was working as a chef when he was injured at work in 2016.
He went through the Return to Work process, but even after treatment was told he would not be able to return to his career in the kitchen.
In situations where injured workers can’t return to their former employment, Return to Work is designed to provide re-training in a new area.
Chris was determined not to let his injury slow him down, and began looking for alternative careers right away.
His training provider supported a proposal for him to study an Advanced Diploma of International Business Management with the aim of eventually working in the import/export business.
However, his case manager refused to approve the training.
“The cost of re-training was something I was entitled to. Return to Work tried to say that the course wasn’t suitable, and that made things really hard.
They argued that since the course was over a year, it wasn’t eligible for funding – even though I was completing it in 6 months.
It was very frustrating. It should have been a simple case of re-training, but they kept refusing to cover the course.
I was recommended to speak to my union, and once I got in contact with United Voice they took care of everything.”
United Voice filed a dispute on his behalf in the South Australian Employment Tribunal.
The United Voice industrial team was able to resolve Chris’s claim and have his studies approved.
The cost of the Advanced Diploma is more than $6,000 and will now be completely covered by Return to Work.
“The union made it simple, by talking to Return to Work and working it out on my behalf.
In the end we got a really positive result.”
I learned that the union is always there if you need them. If you have a problem at work or with Return to Work, you have someone you can call for help.”
*Name has been changed for member’s confidentiality