|Date passed parliament||19 June 2008||17 December 2009|
|Date effective||1 January 2009||1 July 2010|
|Incentive format||Rebate on employer insurance excess (first 14 calendar days of wage replacement) if employer lodges claim within two working days of becoming aware of a worker injury.||Penalty payment for wage replacement to the worker. If the employer does not report a worker injury to their insurer within three working days, they become responsible for wage replacement payments for each day they are late.|
|Coinciding changes in legislation (not exhaustive)||
• Provisional liability granting injured workers up to 13 weeks of compensation and medical costs if a liability decision is not made within 7 days of worker report.|
• Changes to dispute resolution system.
• Cap on what lawyers can charge in disputes and change of pay structure to remove financial incentives for lawyers to perpetuate claims.
• Requirements for employers to have rehabilitation and return to work coordinators.
• Payments for counselling for families of deceased workers.|
• Payments for medical and other expenses for up to 12 months after the cessation of income replacement.
• Increase in maximum lump sum for permanent impairment.
• Extension of weekly payments for workers based on whole-person impairment.
• Increases in income replacement rates and delays in step-downs.
• Claimants exempted from step-downs provided they have returned to work for at least 50% of pre-injury hours or duties, or where employer refused or is unable to provide alternative duties.
• Reduce whole-person impairment thresholds for access to common law damages.
• Requirements for return to work and injury management plans.
|Non-coinciding changes in legislation (not exhaustive)||
• 1 July 2008: Reductions to income-replacement rates. Notice periods before benefit reduction or cessation. Code of workers’ rights. Establishment of WorkCover ombudsman and Return to Work Inspectorate. Permitting weekly payments in case of disputes.|
• 1 April 2009: Changes to work capacity reviews for claimants seeking income replacement beyond 130 weeks (2.5 years). Introduction of 5% impairment threshold for permanent injury payments in physical injury cases. Increase of pain and suffering payments to $400,000. Establishment of independent medical panels for decisions on medical questions.
• 1 July 2009: Restrictions on use of redemptions (one-off payments) to finalise claims with injury date on or after 1 July 2006.
• 1 July 2010: Restrictions on use of redemptions (one-off payments) to finalise claims for all claims.