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On 22 October 2019 the Queensland Parliament passed the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019. This legislation amends the previously standing Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003. The Act applies recommendations from the 2018 Five-Year Review of Queensland’s Workers’ Compensation Scheme. The new legislation provides enhanced support for workers with psychological injuries, assisting them in the process of making workers’ compensation claims. Other enhancements include the claims management process and rehabilitation and return to work programs.

The amendments progressively take effect on 30 October 2019 and 1 July 2020.

30 October 2019 Amendments

1. Insurers must take all reasonable steps to support workers suffering from psychological injuries while deciding on the workers’ compensation claim. Support services which may be available whilst an application is being determined include GP appointments, counselling, psychology and mediation.

2. The definition of a psychological injury has changed. Work must now be ‘a significant’ contributing factor to the psychological injury, where preciously it was ‘the major’ contributing factor.

3. Claims can now be accepted outside the six-month lodgement timeframe at the insurer’s discretion.

4. If return to work is not achieved at the end of a claim, insurers are required to provide extended access to accredited rehabilitation and return to work programs.

5. Employers have an obligation for an employees rehabilitation starting the day a worker is injured and ending when the insurer’s responsibility for rehabilitation ceases.

6. Following a workplace injury, employer regret and apologies are now exempt from claim consideration.

7. WorkCover Queensland can now fund programs intended to support employers in their goal of achieving optimal workplace health and safety.

1 July 2020 Amendments

1. Self-insured employers must report injuries and payment made to workers and their insurer. This aligns with current requirements imposed on all other employers.

2. The workers’ compensation scheme will extend to unpaid interns.

3. By 1 July 2021, all employers must provide details of the qualified Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinators to their insurer. Employers can demonstrate these qualifications through regulator-approved training courses.


  1. WorkCover Queensland, Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019:

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