There have been significant changes or potential changes in workers compensation in 5 states, I have summarised the changes here.
Queensland: Injury threshold introduced and other changes. The Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2013 (Qld) has been discussed in a previous blog.
Victoria’s new Act consolidates previous workers compensation Acts, as from 1 July 2014 WorkSafe goes, the new entity is , surprise, the Victorian WorkCover Authority!
In Western Australia feedback is being sought on a proposal to repeal Western Australia’s workers compensation laws and replace them with a more ‘user-friendly’ Act that includes a new ‘worker’ definition to help employers determine with greater ease whether a worker is covered by the scheme. According to WorkCover WA, a significant number of amendments to the Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 over the last three decades have resulted in a ‘complex and highly prescriptive statute which is difficult to understand and apply’.
A discussion paper has been released, based on an internal review of the Act and includes proposal to enhance readability and consistency in the legislation.
South Australia WorkCover has been decommissioned. The State Attorney-General and Industrial Relations Minister said, in relation to SA Workcover: ‘It’s been amended, patched over and fiddled with for years and in the process has become so disliked, the only thing to do is to rub it out and start again.’ Workcover SA has an unfunded liability of well over $1b.
New South Wales Lump sum law changes. NSW legislation has attempted to restrict lump sums, by imposing a 10 per cent whole-person-impairment threshold on claims, this will be decided by the High Court.