As workers’ compensation keeps bubbling away as a political issues in South Australia ahead of this weekend’s State election, other Australian States are not sitting still on workers’ compensation.
Amendments to Victoria’s workers’ compensation system have passed through Parliament on 11 March 2010 enacting most of the findings of the 2007 Hanks inquiry. The laws will be gradually introduced but with most effective from 5 April 2010.
The best summary of the amended laws is on the Victorian WorkCover website.
Freehills law firm has released a brief analysis of the changes. It says
“…employers will be required to do the following to the extent that it is reasonable to do so:
- return employees to work where they have a partial or complete capacity to do so (for a period equal to 52 weeks following their first notification of a claim)
- plan the return to work of a worker
- consult with the worker regarding the return to work
- nominate a return to work coordinator, and
- make a return to work plan available.”
Freehills says that the management of work-related stress claims continues to be messy and says that the laws broaden the application of anti-discrimination provisions.