Amendments to workers’ compensation laws to improve support for vulnerable workers have passed Parliament today.
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the amendments strengthen the government’s focus on ensuring workers get the support they need, when they need it.
“We want to help workers recover from their injury, rehabilitate and return to work,” Ms Grace said.
“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.
“These changes will ensure Queensland’s workers’ compensation scheme continues to provide nation-leading coverage to workers at the lowest possible cost to business.”
Minister Grace said the amendments are in line with recommendations made by independent reviewer Professor David Peetz, who put Queensland’s workers’ compensation scheme under the microscope last year.
“Professor Peetz met with key stakeholders including worker and employer representative groups, legal professionals, medical and allied health associations, and insurers,” the Minister said.
“His review found the Queensland scheme is performing well, is stable and financially strong.
“Major reform wasn’t recommended, but he identified several areas that could be improved.”
The legislative amendments include:
- amending the definition of a 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 whilst their compensation claim is being determined
- exempting apologies by employers from being considered in a common law claim
- requiring self-insured employers to report injuries and any payments to their insurer
- clarifying how employers can ensure their rehabilitation and return to work coordinator is appropriately qualified
- extending workers’ compensation coverage to unpaid interns