Following on from our recent newsletter we now know that the
threshold regime applicable in Queensland WorkCover claims is time
limited – workers who sustained injury between 15 October
2013 and 31 January 2015 need to overcome the 5% permanent
impairment threshold before they can pursue common law rights
against their Employer.
It follows that:
For all injuries sustained after 31 January 2015 there is no
threshold applicable, although the usual entitlement provisions
The limited duration of this threshold regime (15 months) means
that we will never know to what extent common law claims would have
reduced as a consequence of the application of the threshold,
although, predictably, over this period there was some
Before the Government introduced legislation removing the
threshold provision there was significant policy debate within the
corridors of power and the industry generally as to whether
legislation removing thresholds should be made retrospective.
Rather then make the legislation apply retrospectively, it was
decided to simply provide that the threshold regime does not apply
for all injuries sustained after the State election, that is after
31 January 2015.
Nonetheless in an attempt to provide some compensation for
workers who 'missed out' within the application of the
threshold regime a statutory adjustment scheme has been put in
It is intended that the statutory adjustment scheme will be an
efficient administrative process which allows workers who did not
meet the 5% DPI threshold to still obtain some additional lump sum
The statutory adjustment scheme will not apply to workers who
were assessed with a permanent impairment of less than 5%, although
accepted the lump sum compensation made in the Notice of
Assessment. The statutory adjustment scheme only applies to workers
who deferred the lump sum offer and did not otherwise meet the DPI
From the perspective of the insurer the statutory adjustment
scheme provides an onerous obligation to locate workers who may be
eligible for additional lump sum compensation and advise them of
Belinda Hughes, Special Counsel of Kaden Boriss Legal, sets out
in some detail below the statutory adjustment regime, in particular
the qualifying conditions that are required to be met and the
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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An employee that refused a reasonable offer of settlement was ordered by the FWC to pay his ex-employer's legal costs.
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