Significant changes to Queensland workers' compensation scheme announced

By Trent Forno, Jennifer Veiga and Ebony-lea Rahman

On 15 October 2013, a bill to amend the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld) was introduced into Parliament and is likely to be passed next week.

The bill contains significant (and controversial) changes to the current scheme, including the introduction of a threshold of more than a five per cent permanent impairment for an injured worker to be able to claim common law damages against their employer.

The threshold will result in a substantial future reduction in the number of damages claims currently brought by injured workers against their employers — some are forecasting a reduction of up to 60 per cent. On the back of earlier amendments to limit the definition of ‘worker’, this reduction will also mean significant future premium savings for Queensland employers…

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