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Recent Publications

Our team regularly produces articles and updates on legal developments and the implications for clients. Our latest publications can be viewed below. Alternatively, use the Search function on the left to find the topic of your choice.

To summons, or not to summons, that is the question

December 14, 2021

Martinovic and Australian Capital Territory [2021] AATA 3435.   Key Points: An employee of the ACT objected to a summons issued to obtain her medical records on the basis that the records contained information which, if disclosed, would remove her right to privacy on matters which she believed had no relevance to the proceedings. The […]

Tribunal finds lower back injury not caused by prolonged sitting/standing at government department

November 30, 2021

Salehi and Comcare [2021] AATA 3294.   Key Points: The Tribunal was asked to determine liability for a lower back injury claimed to have been sustained due to prolonged sitting and standing in the workplace. The Tribunal accepted that the employee suffered from a lower back condition but found no evidence that the condition was […]

Tribunal: actions to address underperformance were reasonable

November 29, 2021

YYHQ and Comcare [2021] AATA 3809.   Key Points: The Tribunal was asked to consider liability for a psychological condition, claimed to have been caused by bullying and harassment at the Department of Home Affairs. The Tribunal found that the psychological condition did not meet the definition of Injury as it was suffered as a […]

Weight loss surgery not related to psychological condition

November 29, 2021

Fittock and Comcare [2021] AATA 3628.   Key Points: The Tribunal was asked to consider liability for weight loss surgery obtained by a customer service officer working at Services Australia. The employee claimed that the surgery was necessary to treat her accepted psychological condition. The Tribunal applied Howes v Comcare [2016] FCA 1521 and found […]

AFP Officer’s appeal dismissed – Full Federal Court upholds reliance on section 53

November 29, 2021

Leach v Comcare [2021] FCAFC 134.   Key Points: The Full Federal Court was asked to decide whether the Federal Court and the Tribunal had erred in finding that Mr Leach had failed to provide notice of his injury as soon as practicable after he became aware of it. The Full Court dismissed the appeal. […]

HBA again among Australia’s best insurance law firms

November 11, 2021

HBA Legal has been named one of Australia’s best insurance law firms in the 2021 Doyle’s Guide rankings – this year on both the east and west coasts of Australia. The rankings are highly regarded within the legal industry in that they are peer nominated and peer and client voted. Additionally, one can only nominate […]

Covid-19, vaccinations & the workplace – an HR issue or a Safety issue?

October 1, 2021

The management of COVID-19 in the workplace is a health and safety issue employers have been grappling with since the start of the pandemic. The recent developments with WorkSafe Victoria charging the Victorian Department of Health with 58 breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Vic) regarding Victoria’s hotel quarantine system is reflective of […]

Federal Court:  AFP Officer not “double dipping”

September 30, 2021

Friend v Comcare [2021] FCA 837.   Key Points: Ms Friend had an accepted claim for workers’ compensation under the SRC Act for “gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, adjustment disorder with depressed and anxious mood and panic disorder without agoraphobia”. Ms Friend received $1.25 million in damages for sexual harassment and discrimination allegedly experienced in the […]

When a medical clinic submits summons compliance expenses, what’s reasonable?

September 30, 2021

Stekovic and Comcare [2021] AATA 2230.   Key Points: The Tribunal was asked to consider the reasonableness of expenses claimed by a medical clinic for compliance with a summons. The Tribunal found that the medical clinic had not provided sufficient evidence to support the costs claimed. The Tribunal applied the authority in Bestt and Military […]

Full Federal Court confirms compensation not payable where causal nexus between injury and employment no longer exists

September 30, 2021

Woodhouse v Comcare [2021] FCAFC 95.   Key Points: The Full Federal Court was asked to decide whether the Tribunal had erred in deciding that Ms Woodhouse’s psychological condition could no longer be said to be contributed to, to a material, degree, by her employment. The Full Court dismissed each of Ms Woodhouse’s grounds of […]