The Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (the Act) requires the Minister with responsibility for workers' compensation to ensure a review of the operation of the workers' compensation scheme is completed at least once in every five year period. The second review of the scheme was required to be completed no later than 29 June 2018.
And independent reviewer, Professor David Peetz from Griffith University was appointed by the Honourable Grace Grace MP, Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations on 6 March 2018 to undertake the review.
Professor Peetz conducted targeted consultation and took written submissions from key stakeholders, including trade unions, employer representatives, medical and allied health associations, legal representatives, and insurers.
The terms of reference were focused on ensuring the scheme is well placed to respond to emerging issues. The review and subsequent recommendations specifically considered:
- The performance of the scheme in meeting the objectives under section 5 of the Act, including:
- maintaining a balance between providing fair and appropriate benefits for injured workers or dependants and persons other than workers, and ensuring reasonable cost levels for employers;
- ensuring that injured workers or dependants are treated fairly by insurers;
- providing for the protection of employers' interests in relation to claims for damages for workers' injuries; and
- providing for employers and injured workers to participate in effective return to work programs;
- Emerging issues facing the Queensland workers' compensation scheme.
- The effectiveness of current rehabilitation and return to work programs and policy settings, including ways to increase Queensland's current return to work rate.
The review found the scheme is performing well and is financially sound. The report states that the scheme involves low costs for employers, provides fair treatment for both employers and injured workers.
Major scheme reform is not recommended, however, a number of opportunities were identified to improve the claims process and experience for injured workers. The report made 57 recommendations, which the Government will consider in due course.
Read the Operation of the workers' compensation scheme final report (PDF, 2.39 MB).