Legislative amendments introduced to State Parliament by the Palaszczuk Government will make it simpler for injured workers to pursue legal claims through the courts.
Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations Curtis Pitt said the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 sought to deliver on an election commitment of the Palaszczuk Government.
“This Bill will restore fairness and balance to Queensland’s workers’ compensation scheme that was lost under the LNP,” he said.
“The LNP trampled over workers with their unfair changes to workers compensation.
“Our proposed amendments will undo the damage the LNP did and restore the rights workers previously had under Labor.
“They will reinstate common law rights for all injured workers who can prove negligence on the part of their employer.
“They’ll also remove the unfair permanent impairment threshold currently required before injured workers can access common law claims.
“The threshold will be removed from 31 January 2015, the date of the Queensland State Election.
“Via a stakeholder reference panel comprised of employers, insurers, unions and the legal community, the government undertook consultation to ensure we got the timing of the removal of the threshold right.
“Workers shouldn’t be denied the opportunity to access common law damages and we want to fix that.”
The proposed changes will also remove the current entitlement for employers to access a prospective worker’s claims history.
“These claim history summaries can impact on a worker’s privacy and their future career prospects,” Mr Pitt said.
“This Government is committed to creating a fair, sustainable and efficient scheme by balancing low premium rates for employers with good benefits for injured workers, and to promote durable return to work programs.
“We will continue to deliver ongoing savings and improvements to Queensland’s workers’ compensation scheme, without attacking the basic entitlements and rights of workers.”
Mr Pitt recently announced that Queensland’s workers’ compensation scheme will continue to offer the lowest premium rates in Australia at $1.20 per $100 of wages paid.
For more information on Queensland’s workers’ compensation scheme visit worksafe.qld.gov.au or call 1300 362 128.
Treasurer, Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
The Honourable Curtis Pitt