The Hon. Bill Johnston MLA, Minister for Industrial Relations, introduced a Bill into Parliament on 24 June 2020 that amends the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981.

The Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Amendment (COVID-19 Response) Bill 2020 addresses a small number of priority issues in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The priority changes are brought forward from the current rewrite of the workers’ compensation legislation.

A key amendment provides for regulations to be made which establish a presumption of work-related injury for prescribed diseases contracted by workers in prescribed employment.

The Government’s priority is to ensure regulations are made, in the first instance, for health care workers who contract COVID-19.

The Bill will also facilitate electronic service of some documents, remove the arbitrary ‘termination day’ that constrains a worker’s ability to pursue common law damages, and provide for indexation of worker entitlements in regulations.