7th Edition – National Workers Compensation Quarterly Review

12 February 2018

Welcome to the latest edition of HWL Ebsworth’s National Workers Compensation Quarterly Review.

We are delighted to bring you another series of articles reflecting recent legal and other industry developments within the workers compensation sector across different States and Territories.

We hope that you will enjoy this edition of our Quarterly Review and encourage you to pass it on to any colleagues to whom it would also be of interest. If anyone would like to be added to our direct mailing list, please contact marketing@hwle.com.au.

Premium hit: When WorkSafe classifies an employer’s contractors as workers

For employers who rely heavily on contractors, a decision by the regulator to classify those contractors as workers may have a significant effect on the employer’s WorkCover premium.

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South Australia
South Australian Employment Tribunal Practice Direction No: 28 – Global Settlement and Resolving S56 and S58 Entitlements

Historically, some Compensating Authorities and Self-Insured Employers have often approached settlement negotiations during a workers’ compensation dispute on a global and commercial basis – meaning, that they will agree to resolve a worker’s claim, dispute and sometimes the employment relationship by way of a global settlement sum. A new Practice Direction by the Tribunal is likely to have repercussions for that process going forward.

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New South Wales
Aggregate or perish: Why and how injured workers are trying to make it all add up

In the New South Wales workers’ compensation scheme, as in others around Australia, injured workers are seeking to maximise their assessments of impairment in ways that try to incorporate as many body parts and injurious events as possible into one overall figure. The recent matter of Cemco (Australia) Pty Ltd t/as Carrall’s Engineering & Mining ats Carrall [2009] NSWWCCPD 76 suggests the current aggregation principles may be open to expansion.

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When does the 5% threshold apply in Queensland?

On 29 October 2013, the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Act was passed.  That Amendment Act amended the Queensland Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 and imposed a threshold that a worker now needs to satisfy to be entitled to claim damages.

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Coal workers’ pneumoconiosis in Queensland

On 31 August 2017, the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation (Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 passed through Queensland Parliament. The Bill amends the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Act) and Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation 2014 and permits, amongst other things, a new additional lump sum entitlement for worker’s suffering pneumoconiosis.

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Western Australia
Update: Damages for common law psychiatric injuries – Christos v Curtin University of Technology [2017] WASCA 110

The Western Australian Court of Appeal recently handed down judgment that held that an employer was not negligent for a Worker’s psychiatric injury that he claimed was caused by the employer failing to progress and resolve his grievances in a timely manner and in accordance with the employer’s grievance management policies.

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We hope you find this edition informative and insightful.

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