WorkCover Changes

201501.22
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A timely reminder about…….

In October 2013, unnecessary changes were made to the Queensland Workers’ Compensation Scheme.

The Finance and Administration Committee made a determination contained in Report No. 28, Inquiry into the Operation of Queensland’s Workers’ Compensation Scheme:

‘The Committee recognises that imposing thresholds on accessing common law rights would improperly remove rights from one group of citizens that are available to other citizens. Imposing thresholds on WPI would break the nexus between workers’ compensation and the ability of injured workers to perform their pre-injury employment. The Committee recommends retention of the existing provisions relating to access to common law.’

(http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/committees/FAC/2012/OpQldWorkersComp/rpt-028-23May2013.pdf)


Despite this recommendation, the following amendments were made to the Workers’ Compensation Scheme:

  • The amendments allow for a worker’s compensation history to be made available to future employers with the potential impact on a worker’s career prospects. This impacts upon older workers employed in manual labour type work who would then have to rely on a disability pension if future employers used their compensation history to discriminate against them.
  • The amendments require workers to notify employers of any previous workplace injury or illness at pre-employment.
  • The imposition of an impairment threshold for access to common law claims arising out of a workplace incident. This means in order to make a claim for common law damages, a worker must have greater than 5% permanent impairment (6% or more). The imposition of this threshold is denying a significant amount of injured workers the ability to access common law damages, even if their injury prevents them from returning to their pre-injury employment and even if their injury was caused by the negligence of their employer.
  • Amendments to the definition of injury have been made to make it harder to prove psychological and psychiatric injuries.
  • The independent workers’ compensation regulator, Q-Comp was shut down and instead the government is now regulating itself in this respect.

These amendments affect any worker who was injured during the course of their employment due to the negligence of their employer with the incident occurring on or after 15 October 2013.

If you have any questions about these amendments or your rights please do not hesitate to contact RaZor Legal.