A Moorebank company manager has pleaded guilty, paid restitution and been ordered to pay legal costs after WorkCover NSW prosecuted him for failing to pass on all proceeds from a worker's compensation claim to an injured employee.
Troy Stratti, a manager of rock saws manufacturing company Yuli Aya, pleaded guilty in the Chief Industrial Magistrates Court in Sydney.
In July 2008 a worker at the company was injured operating a lathe when his hand got caught, breaking his wrist and forearm. The worker successfully claimed worker's compensation and was entitled to receive $20,848 through Allianz Worker's Compensation on behalf of WorkCover NSW.
The compensation payment was provided in full to Yuli Aya to administer weekly payments.
WorkCover prosecuted Stratti after it discovered the worker had only been paid $3,200, causing significant financial hardship to the worker.
After the discovery that the payments were not being made, WorkCover, through Allianz, continued to provide weekly payments directly to the worker while recovery of the money was sought from the company.
Chief Industrial Magistrate Greg Hart was told that a number of significant personal events took place at the time of the non-payment, and they had effected Stratti's judgement.
WorkCover accepted that these extenuating circumstances should be taken into consideration when passing sentence. It was noted that Stratti had reimbursed the worker's compensation scheme for the money, which had not been passed on, to the injured worker.
Chief Industrial Magistrate Hart found that despite these personal circumstances, the injured employee had suffered personal hardship and said the worker's compensation scheme required a high degree of honesty, otherwise vulnerable people would suffer.
Stratti was also ordered to pay legal costs.