Disclosure of pre-existing injuries or medical conditions
In certain circumstances workers may not be entitled to compensation or damages if they aggravate a pre-existing condition at work. This page outlines the key components and highlights important points for employers to consider when implementing processes. The information below only applies to a process for considering and selecting a person for employment after 29 October 2013, the date that legislative changes came into effect.
A prospective employer
A prospective employer:
- may request a prospective worker to disclose all pre-existing injuries or medical conditions existing during the period of the employment process that could reasonably be expected to be aggravated by performing their employment related duties
- must request disclosure in writing and this request must be accompanied by details of the nature of the duties that are subject to the employment
- must advise prospective workers that if they knowingly supply false or misleading information, they will not be entitled to compensation or damages under the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (the Act), for any event that aggravates the non-disclosed pre-existing injury or condition.
A prospective worker
A prospective worker must, where requested in writing by a prospective employer, disclose all pre-existing injuries or medical conditions of which they are aware, that could reasonably be expected to be aggravated by performing the employment related duties. If the prospective worker is engaged before making the disclosure (or being requested to make the disclosure), his or her entitlement to compensation is unaffected.
Key considerations for employers
Employers considering implementing changes to their employment processes in relation to these amendments should note:
- it is the prospective employer's decision as to whether or not they request disclosure of pre-existing injuries or medical conditions from prospective workers during the pre-employment screening process
- when providing details of the nature of the duties that are subject to the employment, it is important that this information is accurate and provides specific details of the nature of the duties. The prospective worker must receive information that will enable them to make an informed decision about whether their pre-existing injury or condition might be aggravated by the duties
- if the Workers' Compensation Regulator has previously provided a copy of the worker's claims history summary the employer must not:
- disclose to anyone else the contents of or information contained in the summary
- give access to the document to anyone else
- use the contents of or the information contained in the summary for any purpose other than for the purposes of the employment process (penalties apply).
- changes to employment processes should be made in consultation with the employer's human resources unit or advisor. Employers who may have queries concerning equal employment opportunity or discrimination should seek independent advice or contact the Queensland Human Rights Commission
- employers should keep accurate records relating to this disclosure as this information will be requested where applicable during the claims determination process.
If you have any queries please contact us on 1300 362 128.
- Last updated
- 05 July 2019