About this blog

The authors of this blog are lawyers or consultants employed by the RCT Group of companies, which includes staff who work mainly within our Stringer Clark offices.

From time to time, we may also invite guest bloggers to contribute, in which case this will be made clear. Authors who are part of the RCT Group are qualified to practice law in Victoria, Australia. Any advice applies to Victorian State law as at the date of first publication. The information is a general guide only and is not a substitute for legal advice applicable to a user's own circumstances.

Residents of other Australian States or Territories or countries are advised to seek legal advice from a lawyer practising in their own area, as laws may vary from region to region.

Recent Authors

Christian Farrelly

Christian Farrelly is a solicitor whose professional focus is superannuation. He also has an interest in commercial and criminal law and wills and probate.

Michael Burdess

Michael Burdess joined Stringer Clark in early 2006 and practices in the area of personal injury including WorkSafe and TAC.

Creon Coolahan

Creon Coolahan is a solicitor in our Warrnambool office and has extensive experience in a range of practice areas with a focus on injury law and employment issues.

Penny Savidis

Penny Savidis is an Partner of the firm and practices predominantly in the area of employment law.

Angela Sdrinis

Angela Sdrinis is a senior partner with Ryan Carlisle Thomas. She is an LIV Accredited Specialist in Personal Injuries with extensive experience in Comcare matters.

Tag results for: comcare

Comcare or TAC. Which is better for road accident compensation?

Employees of the Commonwealth Government and some other large companies who are injured while at work and on the road, will almost certainly apply for injury compensation under the national insurer, Comcare.

What many of these people are not aware of is that they may also be eligible for compensation in Victoria through the TAC (Traffic Accident Commission), where the benefits can be more generous and fairer.  To be entitled to damages under the Transport Accident Act, it is necessary to show that the car accident was caused by the negligence of...

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Breakthrough decision recognises possible link between mobile phones and office equipment and injury

A scientist working for the CSIRO has been successful in overturning a decision by Comcare refusing him compensation for an illness he claimed had been exacerbated by exposure to electro magnetic radiation while at work.

In a decision handed down by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, (David McDonald v Comcare), Deputy President Constance found that Dr McDonald’s condition, which his doctors diagnosed as an intense sensitivity to electro magnetic fields (EMF), was either aggravated by increasing exposure to the radiation emitted by office equipment and/or that he had a genuine...

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Comcare review demands quick action

Peter Hanks QC has handed down his review of the Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1998 (SRCA), which contains some excellent recommendations for reform of the national Comcare scheme.

The last review into the Comcare scheme was completed in 2009 when Julia Gillard was the Minister for Workplace Relations. Sadly, one of the most important recommendations from that review putting time limits on employers in determining claims is yet to be implemented.

The problem for this review is that a fast closing political window could well see the reforms it recommends languish under a change of government. In...

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Tougher bullying laws mean that there are more legal options available - but how effective are they?

Angela Sdrinis and Carol Andrades continue to examine legal avenues to compensation.

Part 2: Legal Remedies for Bullying - Tort of Intentional Harm, Anti-Discrimination Laws, Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) and the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)

As noted in Part 1 of the blog, there are thresholds which apply to the recovery of common law damages arising out of personal injury at work, including bullying behavior. In New South Wales, there has been at least one example (Naidu’s Case – see below) of...

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Bullying at work - tougher bullying laws mean that there are more legal options available, but how effective are they?

Over two instalments, Angela Sdrinis and Carol Andrades examine legal avenues to compensation.

Part 1: Legal Remedies for Bullying-Criminal Law, Compensation and Negligence

Bullying at work has had a lot of media coverage following the death of Brodie Panlock, who committed suicide after being mercilessly bullied at work. On 31 May 2011, the Victorian Government passed legislation known informally as Brodie’s Law which made bullying a criminal offence in some circumstances.

Bullying can constitute a breach of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004...

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As national employers shake out staff, bullying is on the rise

Comcare lawyer, Angela Sdrinis, analyses the fallout from a recent stress injury ruling.

Banks continue to announce big staff layoffs, with some commentators including the head of the Finance Sector Union, Leon Carter, predicting job losses totalling 10,000 over the next 18 months. At the same time, Telstra and Australia Post continue to shed workers more quietly but in large numbers. And if Tony Abbott gets in, numbers in the Commonwealth public service are likely to be slashed.

In my experience as a Comcare expert, management doesn't reach those...

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Comcare's new compo guide finally released

Comcare, the Commonwealth Government's workers compensation scheme, has finally released its new draft guidelines, having had its previous guidelines challenged and overruled by the Federal Court.

The guidelines contain tables under which compensation entitlements are determined.

The discredited guide was found to be inconsistent with legislation that entitles all workers to financial compensation for any injury that leads to a permanent impairment level of 10% or more.

Comcare initially made a commitment to replace the dodgy guidelines with new ones by July this year. Then the deadline slipped to October. The agency has now prepared a new guide,...

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Comcare is short changing workers by up to $35,000

Last year, the Federal Court found that the Federal Government's workers compensation fund, Comcare, had breached the relevant legislation in trying to short change workers on their 10% permanent impairment payouts.

Comcare is the Federal Government equivalent of WorkSafe in Victoria, and is the fund under which all Commonwealth public servants and the workers of some large national companies are covered for workplace injury.

Keen to cut the amount of money being paid to injured workers by the government and employers, especially workers suffering from musculoskeletal injuries, the Howard Government in 2006 tried to...

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