COVID-19 Response Bill passes Parliament

  • ​Bill to provide a presumption of work-related injury for health care workers who contract COVID-19 and claim workers’ compensation passes Parliament
  • COVID-19 related barriers removed from workers’ compensation legislation
  • The McGowan Government’s Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Amendment (COVID-19 Response) Bill 2020 passed Parliament today.

    The Bill will ease the burden on health care workers who contract the virus and require access to workers’ compensation entitlements. 

    As experienced in Victoria, many essential health care workers are working in difficult circumstances and are at a higher risk of exposure to contracting COVID-19.

    The Bill features a presumption of work-related injury for specific diseases suffered in specified classes of employment.

    It will ensure that the cap on workers’ entitlements will not fall when there is a fall in the Wage Price Index or CPI.

    Regulations will address health care workers suffering from COVID-19 as a priority, this means workers will not be required to go through lengthy and costly claim investigations to prove they contracted COVID-19 at work.

    The Bill will also facilitate electronic service of some documents and remove the arbitrary ‘termination day’ that constrains a worker’s ability to pursue common law damages.    

    As stated by Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston:

    “The passing of the Bill follows calls from Western Australia’s Health Unions and will help better protect our healthcare workers if the COVID-19 situation gets worse.

    “It’s important the workers’ compensation scheme does not unfairly burden or constrain the rights of health care workers.

    “This Bill will ensure they receive the support they need from providing essential services to the Western Australian community.”

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