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3 min read

IWUA Case Win #1378: IWUA’s $60,000 Victory in the The Battle for Sick Leave & WorkCover


How the IWUA Defends Sick Leave Rights for Employees

As workers, we all have the right to rely on the entitlements in our contracts. There are basic rights that should be protected and respected by employers. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. Sometimes, employers make it difficult for us to take the time we need to care for ourselves and our health.

This is exactly what happened to one member of the IWUA. They had been on sick leave since the beginning of last year, but their employer was making it difficult for them to complete the required documents for their WorkCover application.

Every time they tried to correspond with their employer regarding the matter, they were ignored. It was frustrating and disheartening. To make matters worse, they received a misconduct warning notifying them that their leave was being investigated. It was clear that their employer was not taking their sick leave seriously and was looking for a way to discredit their time off.

Feeling helpless and unsupported, our IWUA member turned to their union for assistance instead. Thankfully, they were assigned a case manager who took the time to investigate the case thoroughly. They helped the member complete the necessary forms and provided the support and guidance they needed to successfully apply for income protection through WorkCover.

Thanks to the IWUA's intervention, the member's WorkCover application was approved, putting an end to the investigation by their employer. They were finally able to take the time they needed to care for themselves and their health without fear of retribution or backlash from their employer.

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But this situation raises some important questions. Why do some employers make it so difficult for their employees to take sick leave? Why do they feel the need to investigate and punish employees for taking time off to care for themselves?

The truth is, some employers view sick leave as an inconvenience or a burden. They don't see the value in supporting their employees' health and well-being, and they don't understand that taking sick leave can actually benefit both the employee and the employer in the long run.

When employees are able to take the time they need to recover from illness or injury, they are more likely to return to work feeling refreshed and energised. This means they are more productive and engaged, which benefits the employer as well.

But when employers make it difficult for employees to take sick leave, they create a toxic work environment that can be detrimental to everyone involved. Employees feel unsupported and undervalued, which can lead to low morale and high turnover rates. Employers, in turn, are left with a workforce that is disengaged and unmotivated.

This is where the IWUA comes in. Our role is to advocate for the rights of workers and ensure that they are treated fairly and with respect. We believe that every worker deserves the right to take sick leave when they need it, without fear of retribution or backlash from their employer.

The IWUA also doesn’t waste member resources on fringe political issues, or issues that members don’t care about. Everything goes back into fighting for real members, and getting WINS just like this one. 

Why is the IWUA different? We believe that real change in workforce STARTS with empowering workers, not bureaucrats. 

If you are a member of IWUA and need assistance with sick leave or a WorkCover application, please submit a Member Support Form on your Dashboard. You contact us on (07) 3497 5071 - hotline@iwua.asn.au

To find out more about IWUA and become protected today visit: https://iwua.redunion.com.au/