Summary: O’Farrell’s workers compensation legislation

A summary of the main elements of the cuts for the majority of injured workers.

  • Restrictions on cover for occupational diseases
  • Partners’ claims for nervous shock abolished
  • Cap on weekly payments
  • Cap on medical benefits
  • Limits on lump sum compensation
  • Changes are retrospective.

Some amendments to the Workers’ Compensation legislation were achieved. They include:

  • Exempting paramedics and fire-fighters (in addition to police);
  • Journey claims retained, in a limited form. Workers injured when travelling are only covered ‘if there is a real and substantial connection between the employment and the accident or incident out of which the personal injury arose’
  • Retaining the current test for negligence for Work Injury Damages claims;
  • Slightly improving appeal rights in relation to work capacity decisions;
  • Retaining the ability to consider the risk of re-injury in any work capacity decision;
  • Ensuring workers get financial advice (paid for by WorkCover) prior to agreeing to commutations;
  • Removing the Government attempt to have workers subject to cost orders should they lose before the Workers Compensation Commission (although workers, not the Scheme, will now pay for their own legal costs); and
  • Review of the Act in two years instead of five years.

Summary Workers Compensation Legislation

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