On 15 February 2018 the Honorable Bill Johnston MLA, Minister for Commerce and Industrial Relations released a media statement announcing the State Government’s intention to commence drafting a Bill to modernise the Workers’ Compensation & Injury Management Act 1981 (WA).
The Bill will be based on recommendations flowing from the extensive review of the Scheme that was carried out in 2013/14, as set out in the report published by WorkCover WA: Review of the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981: Final Report.
It is intended that the Act will be completely redrafted in plain English and have a more user-friendly layout.
One of the major changes will be to introduce new settlement mechanisms and to remove the current pathway under section 92(f). Settlements by a method other than redemption or Schedule 2 election will be subject to a “Special Circumstance” test that will give the Director of WorkCover WA a level of oversight.
The changes will also include the introduction of lifetime care and support provisions for catastrophically injured workers, satisfying a commitment between the Commonwealth and State and Territory governments.
WorkCover WA has advised that stakeholder consultation will occur on a draft Bill before it is introduced into State Parliament. Current indications are that the draft Bill will likely be completed towards the end of this year, with the changes to come into effect some time in early 2019.
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