Changes to workcover QLD legislation – also driven by profits

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We refer to our recent article “Workcover NSW and VIC scheme Profits at the expense of much needed benefits?!“, and discovered that workcover QLD annual report also reveals a 518 million profit, whilst for example deeming it necessary to putting a cap on common law damages claims!

Needless to say that workcovervictimsdiary.com is horrified that workcover QLD (and VIC and NSW) are extracting profits of such a magnitude, rather than  improving benefit delivery to injured workers!

Changes to workcover QLD legislation – also driven by profits

WorkCover’s annual report reveals $518m profit

WorkCover QLD annual report has been tabled in Queensland Parliament, revealing a $518 million profit last financial year, up from $199 million in 2010-11.

The report shows the average employer premium is still the second lowest in Australia, but revenue from premiums grew by over 11 per cent.

Statutory claim payouts to workers increased last financial year, but common law payments went down.

The report says the operating result is due to higher-than-expected wages growth, lower-than-expected claims, and a strong investment return.

The Queensland Government is looking at increasing the penalty for fraudulent workers compensation claims.

It says it wants to increase the current penalty from 18 months in jail to up to five years.

Changes to the Workers’ Compensation Scheme were recently introduced in State Parliament and include a cap on common law claims.

The Government says the scheme will put the focus back on injury management, rehabilitation and return to work, while providing a competitive premium for employers.(WTF)

[Source:http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-15/workcover-annual-report-reveals-518m-profit/5023140]


While significant changes have been made, key processes and obligations under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act QLD have not changed

Following the release in May 2013 of the report of the Inquiry into the Operation of Queensland’s Workers’ Compensation Scheme, the Workers Compensation Rehabilitation & Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 was passed on 17 October 2013.

Significant changes were made to the Queensland Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003. The Act was assented to on 29 October 2013 and the changes are now in effect.

The Attorney-General has outlined that the purpose of the changes is to “strike a better balance between providing appropriate benefits for injured workers and ensuring the costs incurred by employers are reasonable”.

Whether that goal will be achieved and whether the number of claims will decrease is yet to be seen.

The key changes to the Act include:

  •   Replacing Q-Comp with the “Workers Compensation Regulator” and merging it into the Office of Fair & Safe Work Queensland. The explanatory notes regarding the change identify that the Workers Compensation Regulator will operate in a similar manner to the regulator under the Work Health & Safety Act 2011.
  •   In order to make a common law claim a worker must now have a 5% Degree of Permanent Impairment (DPI) arising from the injury, which replaces the concept of whole person impairment.
  •   The table of injuries has been removed from the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation 2003 and replaced with a new calculation for lump sum compensation under the relevant DPI.
  •   Amending the definition of “injury” under section 32 of the Act.
  •   Allowing employers to seek disclosures from prospective workers about prior injuries / conditions and obtain their workers’ compensation claims history.

Who can make a common law claim for work related injuries?

The Act now contains a threshold that must be met in order for the worker to make a common law personal injuries claim in relation to a work related injury sustained on or after 15 October 2013. The concept of “work related impairment” has been replaced with a method of assessment of Degree of Permanent Impairment (DPI).

Workers are now only able to file a common law damages claim for a work-related injury where a worker’s DPI is assessed as being greater than 5% or who have a terminal condition. Dependents retain their ability to seek damages if the work-related injury resulted in the worker’s death.

Workers who sustain an injury prior to 15 October 2013 will have their workers’ compensation claims processed and dealt with under the old provisions of the Act. At least the Act is not retrospective!

What is an “injury”?

The definition of “injury” in relation to physical injuries remains unchanged. For physical injuries, employment still needs to be “a significant contributing factor” to the injury.

However, in response to the Committee’s recommendation, the definition of injury in relation to psychiatric or psychological injuries has changed to require that employment be “the major significant contributing factor to the injury”. This changes will commence on assent of the amended Act and represent a higher threshold to be met by claimants seeking compensation for psychological injuries.

The exemption of psychiatric/psychological injuries arising from reasonable management action taken reasonably in relation to the worker’s employment has not been changed.

Workers also remain able to make journey claims (ie. claim in relation to injuries that occur during certain journeys).

Access to workers’ compensation histories

From 29 October 2013, prospective workers, upon receiving a written request by a prospective employer, are required to disclose all pre-existing injuries of which they are aware could reasonably be aggravated by performing the duties of the position they applied for.

A prospective employer must advise the prospective worker:

  •   of the nature of the duties the subject of the position he prospective worker has applied for; and
  •   that if they do not comply with the request, or they supply false or misleading information, the worker will not be entitled to compensation or damages under the Act for any event that aggravates the non-disclosed pre-existing injury.

Where the prospective worker fails to disclose relevant pre-existing injuries, or provides false or misleading information, and aggravates the non-disclosed pre-existing injury, the worker will lose their entitlement to compensation and damages.

For employees who were engaged before being requested to make the disclosure, their ability to make claims for pre-existing / non-disclosed injuries remain unchanged.

In addition to this, with the consent of the worker and payment of a fee to the Regulator, a prospective employer is now able access a prospective worker’s claims history summary. The amended Act provides that the prospective employer must maintain confidentiality of the summary and not disclose the contents to anybody else. The summary can only be used for considering and selecting the prospective worker for employment.

While this information can be accessed and used by prospective employers, the prohibition in the Act on obtaining and using “workers’ compensation documents” (as defined in the Act) for selecting a person for employment or determining whether a worker’s employment is to continue still exists. Similarly, other laws, including discrimination laws and the Fair Work Act 2009 will continue to apply. As a result, access to information about a prospective employee’s workers’ compensation history and pre-existing conditions will need to be carefully managed and considered to ensure legal compliance.

 

[Post by Co-Author Trinny and WCV]



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15 Responses to “Changes to workcover QLD legislation – also driven by profits”

  1. So now we enter the world where no injured worker will get a job because discrimination is rife in the job world. Who do you think they will employ- an injured worker or an able bodied? Discriminatory legislation again!!!

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  2. Allianz want you to make complaints, so please do!!! The first website is where you make your complaint-
    http://www.allianz.com.au/contact/feedback-compliments-complaints

    This is the Customer Service Charter giving you the things to complaint about-

    http://www.allianz.com.au/aalaus/aalaus.nsf/docs/92C30F2EC28D94CFCA257AF5001DEF61/$file/NSW+WC+Customer+Service+Charter+2013.pdf

    This one is the level of service standard to provide you what to expect-

    http://www.allianz.com.au/aalaus/aalaus.nsf/docs/A0C3CAA7DB72406ACA257AF5001DEF67/$file/Service+Level+Standards+MF+1.1.pdf

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  3. MMMM allianz handle complaints, they cant pick up phone reply to emails

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  4. I am going to write Allianz a letter about how stupid they are and send it to them. I might even put it on here so people can read how they spent so much money so save $2k. Its just so ridiculous it hilarious.

    We will see if they actually respond…

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    • That is one thing I pointed out and they do respond you just have to start with the case manager then their supervisor and go upwards then cc to WorkCover to show how many times they dispute matters of only a couple of thousand dollars and spend 20 thousand by the time they finish.

      We pointed that out as they are meant to be cost effective and they gave back the treatment after us making the complaints their assessor was crap and because he was wrong as well as not having the expertise or qualifications to act as an expert witness in the area of injury and his report was against the treatment evidence so that they would lose at the commission. It is a good thing to look up the assessor in the courts or commissions to see what the arbitrators think of them. You will see most of the bad assessors have their reports rejected by the arbitrators or judges. When you point that out to the insurer they soon see there is no point in getting bad assessments as the only winners are their solicitors and the bad assessor. Start reminding them they are obligated by law to do the job properly!!!

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  5. Yes I know Johnny, but a bombardment of complaints through their own complaints mechanism showing them how they are not meeting the service standards that can then can go to the Financial ombudsman and WorkCover ombudsman to show what is going on.

    I remind them with a complaint when they don’t met their own standards ie 24 hours to return phone calls 48 hours for emails -minimum standards the say!!!!

    Everyone should have a look at the customer service standards and charter and put in the complaints. In WC Allianz TMF are accountable to SICrop in NSW and Allianz otherwise is accountable to WorkCover.

    They play with statistics so they need statistics of their own to show how they are not doing their job.

    They are not handling their own money, it is a pool of money collected because of mandatory legislation of so they should still be accountable to the tax payer!!!

    Complaints help make them less able to cover up!! It is just a shame the government forget they are there for all people not just their mates!!!

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  6. Guys and girls some of us here are being to harsh i think and in particular on allianz i’ve posted in the past that allianz mmmm are not really up to speed with the system and its been a while since ive posted any positive about em yep a fare while fuck years in-fact but i don’t think i cant find anything good to say about em.
    but since the new reforms fuck i love the word reforms and so does bazza allianz have been on the blower 2 times to big times just to record my voice when their telling me stuff well it didn’t make sense or i could ‘nt grasp it i told em so

    Well whats changed fucking nothing send the money machine a complaint they’ll sit at the table playing with their dicks or mmmmm scratching their funny spots and they’ll send it on to work cover they’ll do the same thing use pretty words that every thing is fine they are just having a whinge in a report that ‘ll go of to the minister he ‘ll look at it and think every thing is hunky dory.
    any thing i say and do that is detrimental to allianz you made me do it well sort of the others start me of and fuck i just cant help self mmmm maybe i can if you could do the right thing .

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    • Hey Johnny,

      I am jealous. At least Allianz has made an effort to keep you fully informed (even if their low life case managers can’t tell shit from clay).

      CGU has deserted me, refuse to deal with me at all!

      Now, you know that I am a reasonable person, and all I have done is ask for what I believe is fair and I have been stonewalled!

      Can you please ask Allianz to ring CGU and check to see if their phones are still connected?

      I cannot afford to have their IMEs to claim jealously is responsible for my psychological injuries – it would really fuck up my case!

      But seriously, fuck Allianz and fuck CGU!

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      • Allianz…..hmmm. Biggest heap of, – yeah, @#^* them. Lying,arseholes, selective specialists on their side. Workplace, Fonterra, prior Bonlac, my GP’s practice wouldn’t put account through to workcover. I had to pay on the day due to companies (Fonterra) bad reputation. I was not reimbursed full amount of doctors visit by Allianz. When I questioned this, I was told, they only cover a certain amount and maybe I should go to a cheaper Doctor.Its not the $ that matters, it’s the insurance company, the workplace who don’t give a shit about anything, least of all the worker.

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  7. Johnny and FU_CGU, I could not agree more, both are parasitic companies run by psychopaths. I would like to know which banks are bankrolling them.

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  8. Bunny i dont know what bank but i do know that their bending the state over and bonking us even under Boofs nose and that the state is paying and dearly fu i made the call and told em at allianz what needed to be done dont hold your breathe i only got to speak to the 1300 number and the usual their busy theyll get em to call back mmm ive been waiting years for a call back i thinks well be waiting years fu

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    • Johnny,

      Thanks for making the call, we remain good and true and will always be a pain in the insurer’s arse!

      Bunny, whoever their banks are, they would be a good risk, considering the profits they are making from poor injured sods!

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  9. Just found out Allianz is so big, it eats the banks too. We should all consider that as a German insurance company, it faced accusations from the Jewish community that it co operated and functioned quite well in the Third Reich. Now you know where its ethics comes from.

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  10. I done a bit of research into these arseholes and like fuck it dont get any better they have got most countries in their pockets.i personally think the story from north america is up with the best preying on the elderly until they where dragged screaming and kicking into the courts.
    AIG group have been let into the country to sell their products it is well documented of court action that involve fraud corruption just to name a few yet our so called bureaucracy lets them set up shop good old Australia easy picking they know we have spinless people thjat run the country .

    Still waitng for a call from allianz fu nothing as yet

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