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QTPA Member Alert |Queensland Workers Compensation Reform Update (22/10/2013)

Queensland Workers Compensation Reform Update

You may have recently seen significant media coverage on the need to reform the Queensland workers compensation scheme. This is just an update for our Turf Queensland members.

Following 12 months of considerable debate, the Queensland State Government announced a range of critical reforms to the scheme.

Changes include:

  • access to Common Law damages restricted to workers who have a serious injury (i.e. a more than 5% degree of permanent impairment threshold);
  • an amendment of the definition of injury, obliging employees with psychological injuries to demonstrate that employment is “the major significant contributing factor’ to injury, rather than just ‘a significant contributing factor‘;
  • an increase in the penalty for fraud from 18 months in prison to 5 years;
  • requiring an injured worker who has lodged a notice of claim for damages to reasonably participate in a return-to-work program accredited by the Regulator; and
  • in some circumstances, allowing employers to request workers to disclose pre-existing injuries that could reasonably be aggravated by performing the duties of employment and to allow access to a prospectiveworker’s claims history.

Journey claims were strongly debated but will continue to be part of the scheme. This is important for ‘Fly In Fly Out (FIFO) or ‘Drive In Drive Out’ (DIDO) projects.

In an effort to streamline the system and reduce administrative burden on employers, Q-Comp and the Workers Compensation Regulatory Authority will also be merged into the Office of Fair and Safe Work QLD.   


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