Written by Workers Compensation Report editor Peter Angelopoulos.
Qld Treasurer Curtis Pitt has told WCR the state government had established a stakeholder reference group “to advise on” reinstating common law rights for injured workers.
Pitt said the group comprised 11 stakeholders who had met on five occasions. It would advise on “the appropriate arrangements” to restore common law rights under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003.
The Qld Govt has pledged to repeal a 5% degree of permanent impairment threshold on common law claims introduced in 2013. The proposed reform was part of the ALP’s election commitment, as was removing a requirement for workers to disclose their compensation histories to potential employers.
Pitt said in “2013 the LNP went against the findings of their own inquiry into Qld’s w/comp system and introduced a threshold that fundamentally attacked the rights of injured workers at common law”. “We made an election commitment to restore [the] Qld w/comp scheme … [and] we are working with industrial organisations and the legal community to seek a swift and calm transfer to the restored system, with consideration of the rights of injured workers and the timing of w/comp payments,” Pitt said. He said “stakeholders in the group have expressed the view that any arrangements – put in place to address the unfair impacts suffered by injured workers who were adversely impacted by the introduction of the threshold – should include a focus on rehabilitation and return to work”.
(This story first ran in Workers Compensation Report 1024, 7 July, 2015)
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