Wrongfully accused workers refused compensation after appeal

UPDATE: An earlier story said the court had found in favour of the four employees. This is not the case and the story has been changed to reflect the court's ruling.

FOUR Maryborough disability support workers who were wrongfully accused of serious misconduct have been refused compensation after they said they received psychiatric injury during the investigation.

The Supreme Court of Queensland ruled their employer had not failed in its duty of care while investigating the complaints against them.

The four women, Samantha Hayes, Pamela Greenhalgh, Edith Harris and Tanya Palmer, appealed the initial ruling against them, which found they were not owed a duty of care by their employer, Disabilities Services Queensland, while they were going through the complaints process.


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However, the Queensland Supreme Court upheld the original decision and found they had not been owed a duty of care while complaints were investigated.

Complaints of misconduct were initially made against the women between 2008 and 2009 but were later found to be unsubstantiated.

Each of the four women said that psychiatric injury had been inflicted on them by the stress and anxiety of the complaints process.

The court found that DSQ had acted reasonably in removing Ms Hayes, Ms Greenhalgh and Ms Palmer from their roles in managing the complainants and placing them in other positions pending the completion of the investigation.

The Supreme Court found in favour of DSQ and the employees were ordered to pay the costs of the hearing.

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