Clifford Gouldson Lawyers

Workers Comp Changes Update - 17 Oct 2013

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The State Government is seeking to pass legislation today, making changes to the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Act). Broadly, the changes to the Act will be as follows:

  1. the introduction of a common law claims threshold of greater than 5% for a whole of person impairment – which in essence means a worker will not be entitled to pursue a common law claim for damages unless they sustain a whole of person permanent injury of greater than 5%;
  2. for a psychological claim to be accepted, employment must be ‘the major significant contributing factor'
  3. employers can request prospective workers to provide a pre-employment disclosure including information relating to any relevant pre-existing injury and a copy of their claims history – the request must be made in accordance with the Act and if a prospective worker provides false information as part of this process, then the prospective worker may be prevented from obtaining compensation for an injury relating to that false disclosure;
  4. restrictions on the use of information obtained by an employer via the pre-employment disclosure will apply;
  5. worker fraud penalties are to be increased and all fraud cases are to be prosecuted by the Office of Fair and Safe Work Queensland.

A more detailed analysis of what these changes mean for employers will be sent through in due course.

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