For many young people, fast food hospitality roles are the foothold into working life. Young people enter these roles with energy and excitement to finally break into the workplace, however, as a consequence young people can sometimes be naïve to the rights and entitlements they have as a worker, particularly when it comes to workplace injuries. 

For young Australians, little to no education is provided around the avenues for help, or how the law around injury compensation functions. As a result, these young people working in hospitality roles can go through injuries and ordeals without ever being aware of the options available to them.  

Hospitality Injuries

While for many, a hospitality role is an entry-level role, that does not mean that hospitality roles are easy. Those working in hospitality face a number of risk factors that may put them at greater likelihood of sustaining an injury. Common hospitality injuries include: burns, slip and falls, repetitive strain injuries, and potentially psychological injuries. 

Physical injuries can place a physical limitation on a worker’s capacity to perform their role. Resultingly, a hospitality worker who has suffered an injury such as a burn or fall, may now be unable to work and earn. Likewise, psychological injuries can also render an employee unable to return to their role. Let’s face it, hospitality workers can often be exploited and mistreated by authority figures in their relative businesses. Workplace bullying, over working or discrimination based on race, gender or sexual orientation can inflict psychological harm on an individual. This can manifest as a psychological injury such as severe anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, which can influence a workers ability to work and earn just as much as any physical injury. 

What are my rights?

Hospitality workers may be unaware that all employers owe a duty of care to their staff. This means that an employer must ensure a safe workplace. This responsibility can be delegated to managers and supervisors who take on the role of ensuring a working environment is safe. If an injury occurs, it is likely that the workplace has failed to provide a safe environment. 

What can I do?

All hospitality workers can rest assured that if and when an injury does occur, there are avenues for assistance. Firstly, a Workers compensation claim can be lodged. In the statutory phase, this can provide weekly monetary benefits and funding for rehabilitation such as physiotherapy sessions and GP visits.  

In the event that the injury was caused through the negligence of an employer, the injured individual may be entitled to pursue a common law claim. In this case, they will be able to claim for past and future economic loss, money lost on medical treatment, and compensation for pain and suffering. 

Time Limitations

When it comes to hospitality, or any type of workplace injury, strict time limits apply on receiving benefits or pursuing a claim. Therefore, to have your situation assessed for free, contact your writer, Jack McDonald of Littles Lawyers on jmcdonald@littleslawyers.com.au for an initial consultation today. 

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