The Queensland Government recently made some changes to the way that employers and their insurers must approach psychological injury vie the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019. Here are the 3 Key changes that came into effect on the 30th October 2019.

Enhanced psychological support

Insurers are now required to take all reasonable steps to provide reasonable support services to workers suffering from psychological injuries before their workers’ compensation claim is decided.
What this means – workers claiming psychological injuries can now access assistance and “reasonable support” for their injury BEFORE a claim is even decided. Important to note is that premiums will NOT BE IMPACTED if a claim is unsuccessful.
Why is this important – early intervention is critical is quick recovery from psychological injury, this change means workers can get on their road to recovery sooner.


Definition of Importance

The definition of psychological injury now requires a worker’s employment to be ‘a’ significant contributing factor to the injury, rather than ‘the major’ significant factor.
What this means – the psychological injury no longer needs to be the predominate cause for claim, rather it simply now needs to be a causation of injury.
Why is this important – workers can now access assistance for a mental injury without needing to prove that it was the main cause for claim. Many psychological injuries are a result of physical injuries, this change recognizes this fact.

Apologies and expressions of regret

Expressions of regret and apologies provided by employers following workplace injuries are now exempt from being considered in a common law claim. 
What this means - intended to encourage employers to give apologies and reduce the distress experienced by injured workers. Any expression of regret or apology made prior to 30 October 2019 will be inadmissible if a relevant notice of claim for damages is made.
Why is this important – employers are now able to better emotionally support workers by clearly expressing remorse rather than the previous situation whereby common law exposure meant that an employer could not communicate this to the worker. The intent is to better move towards early intervention and rapid recovery for worker with a psychological injury.