Queensland’s workers compensation laws are set to be revamped after proposed amendments passed in state parliament on 22 October. The amendments — which are designed to improve support for vulnerable workers — follow Professor David Peetz’s recommendations made after an independent review of the workers compensation scheme last year, according to the Queensland Government.
Amendments include: changes to the definition of psychological injury so that the work relatedness test is the same as a physical injury; ensuring support services are available to workers suffering from psychological injuries while their compensation claim is being processed; and exempting apologies by employers from being considered in a common law claim. They also clarify how employers can ensure their rehabilitation and return to work coordinator is appropriately qualified, require self-insured employers to report injuries and any payments to their insurer, and extend workers compensation coverage to unpaid interns.
“Queensland’s workers compensation scheme is one of the best in the nation, but we are always looking at ways in which we can make it even better,” Queensland Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace claimed. “These changes will ensure Queensland’s workers compensation scheme continues to provide nation-leading coverage to workers at the lowest possible cost to business.”
Amendments will come into effect on 1 July 2020, according to the Bill. The full Bill can be accessed via Queensland Parliament’s website.
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