Workers Comp Changes Update - 17 Oct 2013
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:
- 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%;
- for a psychological claim to be accepted, employment must be ‘the major significant contributing factor'
- 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;
- restrictions on the use of information obtained by an employer via the pre-employment disclosure will apply;
- 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.