Queensland’s amended workers’ compensation laws pass Parliament – news for ECEC?
Amendments to workers’ compensation laws designed to improve support for vulnerable workers have passed Queensland Parliament this week, enforcing change to a number of areas of the legislation, including definitions and responses to psychological injury.
The findings will be of interest to those working in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector in the state, as well as those employing educators and leaders in Queensland.
Queensland Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the amendments further strengthened the Government’s focus on ensuring workers have access to support in the event of a workplace injury or incident.
Ms Grace said that whilst Queensland’s workers’ compensation scheme was “one of the best in the nation”, the changes would ensure that Queensland’s workers’ compensation scheme continues to provide nation-leading coverage to workers at the lowest possible cost to business.
The changes align with recommendations made by independent reviewer Professor David Peetz, who reviewed Queensland’s workers’ compensation scheme 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.
Ultimately, Professor Peetz found that whilst major reforms were not indicated, as the existing system was performing well, was stable and financially strong, there were several areas for improvement.
As a result of his recommendations, 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.
For more information in relation to the changes, please see here.