COVID-19: NSW Workers Comp Legislation Change
On 13 May 2020, NSW Parliament passed three emergency bills to respond to COVID-19, including amendments to Workers Compensation laws. Frontline staff and other eligible essential workers will no longer have to prove they were not infected by COVID-19 outside of the workplace to have their workers compensation claim accepted.
Previously, if a worker contracted COVID-19, they were required to provide proof that their work was a substantial contributing factor in contracting the virus. For those workers, the legal challenges in proving this were quite significant.
Following parliamentary debate, the new law now means that eligible workers will no longer have to prove they were not infected by the COVID-19 virus outside the workplace to have their workers compensation claim accepted.
The amendments will cover frontline and essential workers in industries including health, emergency services, education, disability and aged care facilities, hospitality (restaurants, hotels and clubs), entertainment, construction and brick-and-mortar retail.
This includes staff who are forced to take time off work after being officially diagnosed with COVID-19. Casual workers who are diagnosed with the virus within 21 days of last working will also be covered.
While the amendments have been welcomed by many, it has been flagged that the changes could also see an increase in workers compensation premiums due to the increase in claims payments that will be given to those affected by COVID-19. Even those businesses who don't have sick employees will likely be impacted.
As the Government continues to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, it is important that employers continue to work with their employees to establish and implement the necessary precautions in the workplace and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
For more information on how you could help to lower your workers compensation premiums, read our article here.
How Coverforce can help
Our experienced Coverforce Workplace Services (CWS) team can assist your business with embedding safe working processes and the efficient management and reduction of your workers compensation premiums. Contact them directly on (02) 9376 7979 to find out more.
Your local Coverforce insurance broker can provide your business with sound risk management advice and quality insurance cover at competitive rates. For personalised advice for your business, you can contact your local Coverforce Office. or call 1 3000 COVER.
The information provided in this article is of a general nature only and has been prepared without taking into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. If you require advice that is tailored to your specific business or individual circumstances, please contact Coverforce directly.
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