Safe Work Australia has published a snapshot of workers’ compensation scheme developments in Australia and New Zealand over the last two years.
The biennial report summarises significant changes in administration and scheme delivery and policy and legislative amendments to workers’ compensation schemes from September 2018 to September 2020. It includes legislative developments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A more comprehensive comparison of workers’ compensation scheme arrangements and the differences between schemes in Australia and New Zealand will be published in alternate years, with the next publication date being in 2022.
For Queensland, the report highlights administrative and scheme delivery changes such as the Workers’ Psychological Support Service, Mine Dust Health Support Service, and virtual hearings for injured workers required to attend medical assessment tribunals.
Policy developments contained in the report include regulatory impact statements in relation to gig economy workers and the National Injury Insurance Scheme, clinical guidelines for silicosis, and research in relation to dust lung diseases.
Legislative changes to the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 introduced in 2019 and amendments proposed in 2020 to introduce presumptive laws for first responders with post traumatic stress disorder also are canvassed.
Safe Work Australia says the report will be useful to regulators, employers, lawyers, academics, trainers and policy developers as a reference tool providing a succinct overview of recent developments in workers’ compensation and for teaching about workers’ compensation.