Can workers declare ‘burnout’ compensation?

Following this diagnosis, the complainant made a claim for workers’ compensation in relation to “burnout, anxiety and depression” and named the first six months of 2017 as the relevant period in which he developed the disease.

The court examined whether the applicant had suffered an injury within the meaning of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 s 5B in the first six months of 2017 and, if so, whether this was the result of a reasonable administrative measure in relation to his employment.

Comcare relied on an expert who claimed that the lack of medical records proved that the complainant could not have suffered in 2017. The court rejected this argument as the applicant was not aware of any psychiatric concerns until his diagnosis in 2018.

Comcare also alleged that the applicant’s previous case of depression, diagnosed after his mother’s death in 2010, predisposed him to developing mental illness. Ultimately, however, the Tribunal found that this additional factor “was part of the vicissitudes of ordinary life, and not something that was highly likely to have caused”. [the applicant’s] Depression”.

The court agreed with the applicant’s argument that his condition was due to his increased working hours, along with negative comments from his manager about his job performance.

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