The Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 (Qld) is currently in the public consultation phase.

The amendments proposed by the Bill will have a significant impact on businesses that have a high volume of psychiatric injury claims or that are required to appoint a rehabilitation and return-to-work coordinator.

Employers should be aware that the Bill as currently drafted:

  1. Amends the definition of psychiatric injury such that the new definition is broader than the existing definition, likely increasing the number of accepted psychiatric injury claims.
  2. Requires those employers who are required to appoint a rehabilitation and return-to-work coordinator to also submit to their insurer details demonstrating how their coordinator is appropriately qualified to undertake their role.
  3. Requires that the workers’ compensation insurer must take all reasonable steps to provide reasonable support services to workers with a psychological injury before acceptance of their claim.
  4. Requires the workers’ compensation insurer to continue to provide rehabilitation and return-to-work support to injured workers after the relevant statutory claim has been finalised.
  5. Clarifies the insurers’ discretion to accept claims more than six months after the injury is diagnosed, if the injured worker has lodged a claim within 20 days of developing an incapacity for work from their injury.

There will be a public hearing and briefing on Monday 16 September 2019 and the Committee’s report is due 8 October 2019.