Amendments to both the Workers Compensation Act 1987
and the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation
Act 1998 by the Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment
Act 2010 commenced and made 'further provision for
determination of compensation and work injury damages, workplace
rehabilitation, medical assessment, appeals and other
The Workers Compensation Regulation 2010 commenced and replaced
the Workers Compensation Regulation 2003.
Workers Compensation Act 1987
Briefly summarised, the amendments:
Remove from s40(2) the maximum statutory cap for weekly
compensation paid to partially incapacitated workers who have not
unreasonably rejected suitable employment
Give the Workers Compensation Commission jurisdiction to
determine disputes under s60 in relation to proposed medical
Remove restrictions on the maximum amount for which an employee
is liable for workplace rehabilitation services
Provide that the entitlement pursuant to s73 to be reimbursed
the cost of obtaining a permanent impairment medical report to
support a claim for lump sum does not arise until the claim has
Align the maximum age for determining future economic loss in
accordance with s151IA in a claim for work injury damages to
eligibility for the aged pension under the Social Security Act
Provide for the provision of a security bond as a means of
satisfying a requirement for the deposit of an amount of money as
security by self-insurers, specialised insurers and retro-paid loss
Exempt a specialised insurer from the requirement to be
authorised under the Insurance Act 1973 to carry on
insurance business if the insurer does not require that
authorisation to lawfully carry on the business.
Other minor amendments are made.
Proposed changes to commutation provisions, which were contained
in the original Bill, were removed following stakeholder
Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act
Again, briefly summarised the amendments:
Prevent a worker recovering work injury damages until the
worker has been paid any lump sum compensation to which the worker
is entitled (so that the worker will not lose the entitlement to
the lump sum compensation by recovering damages)
Apply the indexation provisions to the maximum sum for which an
interim payment direction for the payment of s60 expenses can be
made (currently $7,500)
Restrict the circumstances in which fresh evidence can be
adduced on an appeal against a medical assessment certificate or a
decision by an Arbitrator
Restrict an appeal against a decision of an Arbitrator to a
determination as to whether the decision was affected by any error
of fact, law or discretion and to make clear that the appeal is not
a review or new hearing
Provide that an appeal against a decision by an Arbitrator
concerning the payment of weekly compensation does not stay the
decision and make clear that weekly compensation awarded by the
decision appealed against is to be paid pending the determination
of the appeal
Limit the decisions which can be the subject of a
reconsideration pursuant to s378.
Other minor amendments are made.
Workers Compensation Regulation 2010
This replaces the Workers Compensation Regulation 2003 with
relatively minor amendments in relation to the following:
Diseases that are taken to be work related
The current weekly wage rates to be used for compensation
The rate at which the amount of benefits is indexed for
Weekly payments of compensation by way of income support and
procedures for their discontinuation
Return-to-work programs, which are policies for the
rehabilitation of injured workers
Rates applicable for occupational rehabilitation services
Approval of occupational rehabilitation providers
Notification of workplace injuries
The referral of medical disputes to referees or panels
Restrictions on obtaining medical reports
The disclosure of information and the keeping of records.
A paper summarising the amendments in more detail has been
prepared by Moray & Agnew and is available upon request. Please
email the author.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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