New workers’ comp laws go into effect 1 July in Queensland

Published 30 Jun 2020

1 July 2020 marks the mid-year point across the globe – and also indicates some big changes to laws and regulations in Australia. News.com highlighted a number of rules going into effect for the new financial year, including much anticipated changes to workers’ compensation in Queensland. Let’s explore what businesses should know about these new laws that go into effect soon.

What has changed?

On 22 October 2019, The Queensland Parliament passed the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019. This act was in response to an in-depth, five-year review of the state’s workers’ compensation scheme – the results of which were released in 2018.

Many of the amendments came into effect 30 October 2019, including:

  • Providing enhanced psychological support to workers claiming a psychological injury. This is meant to assist in reducing the severity and duration of any mental illness sustained on the job.
  • Giving insurers the ability to increase the time limit of making a claim if a worker is certified with an incapacity. This will help workers who may try to manage their injury before filing a claim not be at a disadvantage if they file past the six-month mark.
  • Requiring insurers to extend access to accredited rehabilitation and return-to-work programs. Allowing WorkCover Queensland to fund and provide programs that incentivise employers to improve workplace safety.

New rules in effect 1 July

While businesses in Queensland likely understand the aforementioned rules as they have been in effect since October, three important rules will commence 1 July:

  1. Self-insured employers must report injuries and payments to their insurer.
  2. Workers’ compensation will now cover unpaid interns.
  3. Employers must provide details of their rehabilitation and return-to-work coordinators to their insurer.

These regulations mark a movement to make workers’ compensation more inclusive and hold employers accountable for workplace injuries and recovery. Extending workplace compensation coverage to unpaid interns is an especially groundbreaking move that makes it easier for both young and experienced interns alike to file and collect appropriate payments if they were to become injured in the workplace.

If you believe you are eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim in Australia, the experts at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation Will Dispute Lawyers are here to help. Contact us today to receive help understanding your rights for filing a claim and for more information on workers’ compensation laws.

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