Workplace compensation legislation gets a shake up around the country

Date: Nov 08, 2013

All over Australia, states are implementing changes to legislation that affect personal disability claims. For some, this may make it easier to file a claim after being injured on the job.

In Victoria, for example, parliament recently passed a bill that will make the workers' compensation process much simpler throughout the state.

The Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Bill 2013 recently made its way through the legislative council and will become law on July 1, 2014.

"The new legislation is presented in a logical and sequential order with visual aids, making it easier for all users to better understand their legislative rights and obligations," said the state's Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips.
"The re-write was also undertaken on a ‘no benefit change’ basis and will continue to offer all existing entitlements and benefits currently available to injured workers and their families."

At the heart of the bill was an effort to help workers slash through the red tape that previously surrounded filing workers' compensation and total permanent disability (TPD) claims. It will also give employers an opportunity to have their WorkCover premiums reviewed by an independent party.

Controversy in Queensland over personal disability claims

The situation isn't quite the same in Queensland, however. Last month, the state's government passed changes to the existing workers' compensation legislation that many unions and lawyers say is unfair. The new bill significantly limits employees' abilities to sue employers in the event of an accident.

State MP Liz Cunningham said the passing of the bill could have serious implications for any workers and their families who are injured on the job.

"It will disadvantage families at a time when they are most vulnerable because of injuries and most vulnerable to family disconnect and most vulnerable to financial hardship," she said.

"I think it is unnecessary and reprehensible."

Earlier in 2013, New South Wales saw its own changes to workers' compensation legislation.

These changes were made to help injured workers get back to their jobs faster, improve the financial situations of workers who suffer TPD accidents and help the injured return to financial stability.

Each reform will be introduced in its own stage to give it the best opportunity for becoming law in NSW.

To fully understand the legal aspects of workers' compensation, you may want to get in touch with TPD lawyers with years of experience in handling these cases.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.