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Extract of Important Provisions from the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003

You may be interested in the legislation that applies to workplace injury claims in Queensland.  We have included excerpts from the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld) as follows, but if you wish to view this legislation in it's entirety, please go to legislation.qld.gov.au.

(Current as at 8 September 2016)

Chapter 1

Part 2 - Objects

5 Workers' compensation scheme

  1. This Act establishes a workers' compensation scheme for Queensland-
    • providing benefits for workers who sustain injury in their employment, for dependants if a worker's injury results in the worker's death, for persons other than workers, and for other benefits; and
    • encouraging improved health and safety performance by employers.
  2. The main provisions of the scheme provide the following for injuries sustained by workers in their employment--
    • compensation;
    • implementation of the national injury insurance scheme for serious personal injuries resulting from workplace incidents connected with Queensland;
    • regulation of access to damages; 
    • employers’ liability for compensation; 
    • employers’ obligation to be covered against liability for compensation and damages either under a WorkCover insurance policy or under a licence as a self-insurer;
    • management of compensation claims by insurers; 
    • injury management, emphasising rehabilitation of workers particularly for return to work;
    • procedures for assessment of injuries by appropriately qualified persons or by independent medical assessment tribunals;
    • rights of review of, and appeal against, decisions made under this Act.

Part 4 – Basic Concepts

Division 1 – Accident insurance, compensation and damages

8 Meaning of accident insurance

Accident insurance is insurance by which an employer is indemnified against all amounts for which the employer may become legally liable, for injury sustained by a worker employed by the employer for--

  • compensation; and
  • damages.

9 Meaning of compensation

Compensation is compensation under this Act, that is, amounts for a worker's injury payable under chapters 3 and 4 by an insurer to a worker, a dependant of a deceased worker or anyone else, and includes compensation paid or payable under a former Act.

10 Meaning of damages

  1. Damages is damages for injury sustained by a worker in circumstances creating, independently of this Act, a legal liability in the worker's employer to pay damages to--
    • the worker; or
    • if the injury results in the worker's death--a dependant of the deceased worker.

Division 2 - Workers

11 Who is a worker

  1. A worker is a person who— 
  • works under a contract; and
  • in relation to the work, is an employee for the purpose of assessment for PAYG withholding under the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cwlth), schedule 1, part 2-5.
  • Also, schedule 2, part 1 sets out who is a worker in particular circumstances. 
  • However, schedule 2, part 2 sets out who is not a worker in particular circumstances. 
  • Only an individual can be a worker for this Act.
  • Division 4 – Spouses, members of family and dependents

    27 Meaning of dependant

    A dependant, of a deceased worker, is a member of the deceased worker's family who was completely or partly dependent on the worker's earnings at the time of the worker's death or, but for the worker's death, would have been so dependent.

    Division 6 – Injury, impairment and terminal conditions 

    Subdivision 2 - Event resulting in injury

    32 Meaning of injury

    1. An injury is personal injury arising out of, or in the course of, employment if—
    • for an injury other than a psychiatric or psychological disorder—the employment is a significant contributing factor to the injury; or
    • for a psychiatric or psychological disorder—the employment is the major significant contributing factor to the injury.
  • However, employment need not be a contributing factor to the injury if section 34(2) or 35(2) applies.
  • Injury includes the following— 
    • a disease contracted in the course of employment, whether at or away from the place of employment, if the employment is a significant contributing factor to the disease; 
    • an aggravation of the following, if the aggravation arises out of, or in the course of, employment and the employment is a significant contributing factor to the aggravation— 
      • a personal injury other than a psychiatric or psychological disorder; 
      • a disease; 
      • a medical condition other than a psychiatric or psychological disorder, if the condition becomes a personal injury or disease because of the aggravation; 
    • an aggravation of a psychiatric or psychological disorder, if the aggravation arises out of, or in the course of, employment and the employment is the major significant contributing factor to the aggravation; 
    • loss of hearing resulting in industrial deafness if the employment is a significant contributing factor to causing the loss of hearing; 
    • death from injury arising out of, or in the course of, employment if the employment is a significant contributing factor to causing the injury;
    • death from a disease mentioned in paragraph (a), if the employment is a significant contributing factor to the disease;  
    • death from an aggravation mentioned in paragraph (b), if the employment is a significant contributing factor to the aggravation. 
  • For subsection (3)(b) and (ba), to remove any doubt, it is declared that an aggravation mentioned in the provision is an injury only to the extent of the effects of the aggravation. 
  • Despite subsections (1) and (3), injury does not include a psychiatric or psychological disorder arising out of, or in the course of, any of the following circumstances—
    • reasonable management action taken in a reasonable way by the employer in connection with the worker’s employment; 
    • the worker’s expectation or perception of reasonable management action being taken against the worker; 
    • action by the Regulator or an insurer in connection with the worker’s application for compensation. 

    Examples of actions that may be reasonable management actions taken in a reasonable way—

    • action taken to transfer, demote, discipline, redeploy, retrench or dismiss the worker

    • a decision not to award or provide promotion, reclassification or transfer of, or leave of absence or benefit in connection with, the worker’s employment

    Subdivision 3 - When injury arises out of, or in the course of, employment

    34 Injury while at or after worker attends place of employment

    1. An injury to a worker is taken to arise out of, or in the course of, the worker’s employment if the event happens on a day on which the worker has attended at the place of employment as required under the terms of the worker’s employment— 
    • while the worker is at the place of employment and is engaged in an activity for, or in connection with, the employer’s trade or business; or 
    • while the worker is away from the place of employment in the course of the worker’s employment; or 
    • while the worker is temporarily absent from the place of employment during an ordinary recess if the event is not due to the worker voluntarily subjecting themself to an abnormal risk of injury during the recess. 
  • For subsection (1)(c), employment need not be a contributing factor to the injury.
  • 35 Other circumstances

    1. An injury to a worker is also taken to arise out of, or in the course of, the worker’s employment if the event happens while the worker—
    • is on a journey between the worker’s home and place of employment; or 
    • is on a journey between the worker’s home or place of employment and a trade, technical or other training school— 
      • that the worker is required under the terms of the worker’s employment to attend; or 
      • that the employer expects the worker to attend; or
    • for an existing injury for which compensation is payable to the worker—is on a journey between the worker’s home or place of employment and a place—
      • to obtain medical or hospital advice, attention or treatment; or 
      • to undertake rehabilitation; or
      • to submit to examination by a registered person under a provision of this Act or to a requirement under this Act; or 
      • to receive payment of compensation; or 
    • is on a journey between the worker’s place of employment with 1 employer and the worker’s place of employment with another employer; or 
    • is attending a school mentioned in paragraph (b) or a place mentioned in paragraph (c). 
  • For subsection (1), employment need not be a contributing factor to the injury. 
  • For subsection (1), a journey from or to a worker’s home starts or ends at the boundary of the land on which the home is situated. 
  • In this section— home, of a worker, means the worker’s usual place of residence, and includes a place where the worker— 
    • temporarily resided before starting a journey mentioned in this section; or 
    • intended to temporarily reside after ending a journey mentioned in this section.

    36 Injury that happens during particular journeys

    1. This section applies if a worker sustains an injury in an event that happens during a journey mentioned in section 35. 
    2. The injury to the worker is not taken to arise out of, or in the course of, the worker’s employment if the event happens— 
    • while the worker is in control of a vehicle and contravenes—
      • the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995, section 79, or a corresponding law, if the contravention is the major significant factor causing the event; or 
      • the Criminal Code, section 328A or a corresponding law, if the contravention is the major significant factor causing the event; or 
    • during or after— 
      • a substantial delay before the worker starts the journey; or
      • a substantial interruption of, or deviation from, the journey.
  • However, subsection (2)(b) does not apply if— 
    • the reason for the delay, interruption or deviation is connected with the workers’ employment; or 
    • the delay, interruption or deviation arises because of circumstances beyond the worker’s control. 
  • For subsection (2)(b)(i), in deciding whether there has been a substantial delay before the worker starts the journey, regard must be had to the following matters— 
    • the reason for the delay; 
    • the actual or estimated period of time for the journey in relation to the actual or estimated period of time for the delay. 
  • For subsection (2)(b)(ii), in deciding whether there has been a substantial interruption of, or deviation from the journey, regard must be had to the following matters— 
    • the reason for the interruption or deviation;
    • the actual or estimated period of time for the journey in relation to the actual or estimated period of time for the interruption or deviation; 
    • for a deviation—the distance travelled for the journey in relation to the distance travelled for the deviation.
  • In subsection (2)(a)(i) and (ii)— corresponding law means a law of another State that is substantially equivalent— 
    • for subsection (2)(a)(i)—to the law mentioned in that provision; or 
    • for subsection (2)(a)(ii)—to the law mentioned in that provision.

    Chapter 3 – Compensation – Part 2 – Compensation entitlements for workers generally

    108 Compensation entitlement

    1. Compensation is payable under this Act for an injury sustained by a worker. 
    2. However, if a worker’s injury is an aggravation mentioned in section 32(3)(b) or (ba), the worker is entitled to compensation for the injury only to the extent of the effects of the aggravation.

    Part 3 – Compensation entitlements of particular workers

    Division 2 - Miners

    122 Application of div 2

    This division applies to an injury sustained by a worker who was a miner when the injury was sustained and the injury is the disease silicosis or anthraco-silicosis.

    123 Entitlements of miners

    1. The worker is entitled to compensation only if subsection (2) or (3) applies.
    2. Compensation is payable for the injury if the worker--
      • has been continuously resident in the State during the 5 years immediately before--
        • the onset of incapacity due to the disease; or
        • death due to the disease, if it happens without the onset of incapacity due to the disease; and
      • during the period of residency, has been employed in employment in mining, quarrying, stone crushing or stone cutting in the State for at least 300 days.
    3. If subsection (2) does not apply, compensation is payable for the injury if the worker--
      • has been resident in the State for periods totalling at least 5 years during the 7 years immediately before--
        • the onset of incapacity due to the disease; or
        • death due to the disease, if it happens without the onset of incapacity due to the disease; and
      • during the period of residency, has been employed in employment in mining, quarrying, stone crushing or stone cutting in the State for at least 500 days.

    Division 3 - Workers with industrial deafness

    124 Application of div 3

    This division applies to a worker who has sustained an injury that is industrial deafness.

    125 Entitlements for industrial deafness

    1. The worker is entitled to compensation for the industrial deafness under part 10 and sections 211(1)(a) and 219(1) and not under any other provision.
    2. The application for compensation for industrial deafness must be made--
      • while the claimant is a worker under this Act; or
      • if the claimant would ordinarily be a worker under this Act but is temporarily unemployed; or
      • within 12 months after the claimant's formal retirement from employment.
    3. The worker is entitled to compensation for industrial deafness that is attributable to the worker’s employment in the State as a worker if the worker— 
    • has been employed in an industry in the State for a period of, or for periods totalling, at least 5 years; and
    • the employment was at a location, or at locations, where the noise level was a significant contributing factor to the industrial deafness.
  • The worker is not entitled to lump sum compensation for the first 5% of the worker’s diminution of hearing. 
  • The insurer must ask that the worker’s degree of permanent impairment resulting from the diminution of hearing be assessed under section 179.
  • Part 5 – Compensation Applications and other procedures

    131 Time for applying

    1. An application for compensation is valid and enforceable only if the application is lodged by the claimant within 6 months after the entitlement to compensation arises. 
    2. If an application is lodged more than 20 business days after the entitlement to compensation arises, the extent of the insurer’s liability to pay compensation is limited to a period starting no earlier than 20 business days before the day on which the valid application is lodged.
    3. Subsection (2) does not apply if death is, or results from, the injury. 
    4. An insurer must waive subsection (1) for a particular application if it is satisfied that special circumstances of a medical nature, decided by a medical assessment tribunal, exist. 
    5. An insurer may waive subsection (1) or (2) for a particular application if the insurer is satisfied that a claimant’s failure to lodge the application was due to— 
    • mistake; or 
    • the claimant’s absence from the State; or 
    • a reasonable cause.

    132 Applying for compensation

    1. An application for compensation must be made in the approved form by the claimant. 
    2. The application must be lodged with the insurer.
    3. The application must be accompanied by— 
    • a certificate in the approved form given by— 
      • a doctor who attended the claimant; or
      • if the application relates to a minor injury—a nurse practitioner who attended the claimant and who is acting in accordance with the workers’ compensation certificate protocol; and 
    • any other evidence or particulars prescribed under a regulation. 
  • A registered dentist may issue the certificate mentioned in subsection (3)(a) for an oral injury.
  • If the claimant can not complete an application because of a physical or mental incapacity, someone else may complete it on the claimant’s behalf.
  • 133 Employer’s duty to report injury

    1. An employer, other than an employer who is a self-insurer, whose worker sustains an injury for which compensation may be payable must complete a report in the approved form and send it to the nearest office of WorkCover. 
    2. The employer must send the report immediately after the first of the following happens— 
    • the employer knows the injury has been sustained; 
    • the worker reports the injury to the employer; 
    • the employer receives WorkCover’s written request for a report. 
  • If an employer fails to comply with subsection (1) within 8 business days after any of the circumstances mentioned in subsection (2), the employer commits an offence, unless the employer has a reasonable excuse. Maximum penalty—50 penalty units
  • Part 8A – When entitlement to compensation stops

    144A When weekly payments of compensation stop

    1. The entitlement of a worker to weekly payments of compensation under part 9 stops when the first of the following happens--
      • the incapacity because of the work related injury stops;
      • the worker has received weekly payments for the incapacity for 5 years;
      • compensation under this part reaches the maximum amount under part 6.
    2. If subsection (1)(b) or (c) applies, the worker's entitlement to further compensation for the injury stops.
    3. Subsection (2) does not apply to the worker’s entitlement to compensation under chapter 4A. 
    4. This section does not limit another provision of this Act that stops weekly payments.

    144B When payment of medical treatment, hospitalisation and expenses stops

    The entitlement of a worker to the payment of medical treatment, hospitalisation and expenses under chapter 4 for an injury stops when--

    • the entitlement of the worker to weekly payments of compensation under part 9 stops; and
    • medical treatment by a registered person is no longer required for the management of the injury because the injury is not likely to improve with further medical treatment or hospitalisation.

    Part 10 – Entitlement to compensation for permanent impairment

    179 Assessment of permanent impairment

    1. An insurer may decide, or a worker may ask the insurer, to have the worker's injury assessed to decide if the worker's injury has resulted in a degree of permanent impairment.
    2. The insurer must have the degree of permanent impairment assessed--
      • for industrial deafness--by an audiologist; or
      • for a psychiatric or psychological injury--by a medical assessment tribunal; or
      • for another injury--by a doctor.
    3. The degree of permanent impairment must be assessed in accordance with the GEPI to decide the DPI for the injury, and a report complying with the GEPI must be given to the insurer. 
    4. If the worker sustains permanent impairment from multiple injuries sustained in 1 event— 
    • the degree of permanent impairment for the injuries, other than a psychiatric or psychological injury, must be assessed together to decide the DPI for the injuries; and
    • the degree of permanent impairment for the psychiatric or psychological injury must be assessed separately to decide the DPI for the injury.

    185 Insurer to give notice of assessment of permanent impairment

    1. The insurer must, within 10 business days after receiving the assessment of the worker’s permanent impairment, give the worker a notice of assessment in the approved form. 
    2. To remove any doubt, it is declared that if a worker sustains multiple injuries in an event, the insurer must give the notice only after the worker’s DPI for all injuries has been decided. 
    3. The notice must state— 
    • whether the worker has sustained permanent impairment from the injury; and 
    • if the worker has sustained permanent impairment— 
      • the DPI for the injury; and 
      • the amount of lump sum compensation under section 180 to which the worker is entitled for the injury; and 
    • if the worker is entitled to additional lump sum compensation under chapter 3, part 10, division 4—the worker’s entitlement.

    187 Offer of lump sum compensation

    If the worker has an entitlement to lump sum compensation under section 180, the insurer must include, in the notice of assessment, an offer of lump sum compensation to the worker (the offer).

    Chapter 4 – Injury Management – Part 2 – Liability for medical treatment and hospital expenses

    210 Insurer's liability for medical treatment, hospitalisation and expenses

    The insurer must pay the cost of the medical treatment or hospitalisation that the insurer considers reasonable, having regard to the worker's injury.

    188 Worker’s decision about lump sum compensation—DPI 20% or more

    1. This section applies if—
    • the worker has— 
      • a psychiatric or psychological injury from an event that results in a DPI of the worker of 20% or more; or 
      • another injury from an event that results in a DPI of the worker of 20% or more; and 
    • the worker has an entitlement to lump sum compensation. 
  • The worker may accept or defer a decision about the offer by giving the insurer written notice within the decision period. 
  • The worker is taken to have deferred the decision if, within the decision period, the worker does not advise the insurer that— 
    • the offer is accepted; or
    • the worker wants to defer the decision.
  • If the worker accepts the offer, the insurer must pay the worker the amount of lump sum compensation.
  • Chapter 5 – Entitlement to Damages – Part 2 – Entitlement conditions

    237 General limitation on persons entitled to seek damages

    1. The following are the only persons entitled to seek damages for an injury sustained by a worker--
      • the worker, if the worker--
        • has received a notice of assessment from the insurer for the injury; or
        • has not received a notice of assessment for the injury, but--
          • has received a notice of assessment for any injury resulting from the same event (the assessed injury); and
          • for the assessed injury, the worker has a DPI of 20% or more or, under section 239, the worker has elected to seek damages; or
          • has a terminal condition.
      • a dependant of the deceased worker, if the injury results in the worker’s death and— 
        • compensation for the worker’s death has been paid to, or for the benefit of, the dependant under chapter 3, part 11; or 
        • a certificate has been issued by the insurer to the dependant under section 132B. 
    2. The entitlement of a worker, or a dependant of a deceased worker, to seek damages is subject to the provisions of this chapter and the provisions of chapter 4A, part 5.
    3. If a worker— 
    • is required under section 239 to make an election to seek damages for an injury; and
    • has accepted an offer of payment of lump sum compensation under chapter 3, part 10, division 3 for the injury; the worker is not entitled to seek damages. 
  • However, subsection (3) does not prevent a worker from seeking damages under section 266. 
  • To remove any doubt, it is declared that subsection (1) abolishes any entitlement of a person not mentioned in the subsection to seek damages for an injury sustained by a worker.
  • 239 Worker who is required to make election to seek damages

    1. This section applies if a worker’s notice of assessment states that the worker’s DPI is less than 20%. 
    2. If, in the notice of assessment, the worker is offered a payment of lump sum compensation under chapter 3, part 10, division 3 for the injury, the worker is not entitled to both— 
    • payment of lump sum compensation for the injury; and 
    • damages for the injury. 
  • If, in the notice of assessment, the worker is required to make an election to seek damages for the injury, the worker can not change the worker’s election— 
    • if the worker has elected to seek damages for the injury—after notice of the election is given to the insurer; or 
    • if the worker is taken, under section 189(7), to have elected to seek damages for the injury—after the worker lodges a notice of claim.

    240 Consequences, to costs, of seeking damages

    1. If the claimant is a worker who does not have a terminal condition and the claimant’s notice of assessment states that the claimant’s DPI is 20% or more, part 12, division 1 applies in relation to costs in the claimant’s proceeding for damages. 
    2. If the claimant is a worker who does not have a terminal condition and the claimant’s notice of assessment states that the claimant’s DPI is less than 20%, part 12, division 2 applies in relation to costs in the claimant’s proceeding for damages. 
    3. If the claimant is a worker who has a terminal condition, part 12, division 1 applies in relation to costs in the claimant’s proceeding for damages. 
    4. If the claimant is a dependant, part 12, division 1 applies in relation to costs in the claimant’s proceeding for damages.

    Part 3 – Mitigation of damage and rehabilitation

    268 Provision of rehabilitation

    1. An insurer may make rehabilitation available to a worker on the insurer’s own initiative or if the worker asks. 
    2. If the insurer makes rehabilitation available to a worker before admitting or denying liability for damages, the insurer must not be taken, only for that reason, to have admitted liability. 
    3. If— 
    • liability has been admitted for damages; or 
    • the insurer has agreed to fund rehabilitation without making an admission of liability; the insurer must, if the worker asks, ensure that reasonable and appropriate rehabilitation is made available to the worker. 
  • The worker may, if not satisfied that the rehabilitation is reasonable and appropriate, apply to the insurer to appoint a mediator to help resolve the questions between the worker and the insurer. 
  • An application for appointment of a mediator under subsection (4) must— 
    • be made in writing; and
    • give details of any attempts made by the applicant to resolve the matter in dispute. 
  • The fees and expenses of the mediator are to be paid as agreed between the parties or, in the absence of agreement, by the parties in equal proportions. 
  • The insurer must make rehabilitation available to the worker, and the worker must satisfactorily participate in the rehabilitation, in sufficient time to enable the insurer and the worker to comply with parts 5, 6 and 7. 
  • This section does not apply to a worker for any period for which the worker is entitled to compensation under chapter 4A, including any period for which the entitlement is suspended under section 232ZH.
  • Part 5 – Pre-court procedures

    275 Notice of claim for damages

    1. Before starting a proceeding in a court for damages, a claimant must give notice under this section within the period mentioned in section 302(1). 
    2. The claimant must—
    • give the notice of claim in the approved form to the insurer at the insurer’s registered office; and 
    • if the worker’s employer is not a self-insurer, give a copy of the notice of claim to the worker’s employer. 
  • The notice must include the particulars prescribed under a regulation. 
  • The claimant must state in the notice— 
    • whether, and to what extent, liability expressed as a percentage is admitted for the injury; or 
    • a statement of the reasons why the claimant can not admit liability. Note— See also section 232V.
  • Any statement made by the claimant in the notice that is in the claimant’s personal knowledge must be verified by statutory declaration.
  • The notice must be accompanied by a genuine offer of settlement or a statement of the reasons why an offer of settlement can not yet be made. 
  • The notice must be accompanied by the claimant’s written authority allowing the insurer to obtain information, including copies of documents relevant to the claim, and in the possession of— 
    • a hospital; or 
    • the ambulance service of the State or another State; or
    • a doctor, provider of treatment or rehabilitation services or person qualified to assess cognitive, functional or vocational capacity; or 
    • the employer or a previous employer; or 
    • persons that carry on the business of providing workers’ compensation insurance, compulsory third party insurance, personal accident or illness insurance, insurance against loss of income through disability, superannuation funds or any other type of insurance; or
    • a department, agency or instrumentality of the Commonwealth or the State; or 
    • a solicitor, other than where giving the information or documents would breach legal professional privilege.
  • The notice must also be accompanied by copies of all documents supporting the claim including, but not limited to— 
    • hospital, medical and other reports relating to the injury sustained by the worker, other than reports obtained by or on behalf of the insurer; and
    • income tax returns, group certificates and other documents for the 3 years immediately before the injury supporting the claimant’s claim for lost earnings or diminution of income-earning capacity; and
    • invoices, accounts, receipts and other documents evidencing the claimant’s claim for out-of-pocket expenses; and 
    • for a claimant other than a worker with a terminal condition or a dependant—the notice of assessment for the injury sustained by the worker.

    281 Parties to attempt to resolve claim

    1. The parties must endeavour to resolve a claim as quickly as possible.
    2. The insurer must give the claimant a written notice under subsection (4) within 6 months after--
      • the insurer receives a complying notice of claim or waives the claimant's non-compliance with the requirements of section 275; or
      • the court makes an order under section 297; or
      • the court makes an order under section 298.
    3. For subsection (2), for a worker with a terminal condition, the insurer must give the claimant the written notice within 3 months.
    4. The written notice must--
      • state whether liability in connection with the event to which the claim relates is admitted or denied and--
        • if liability is admitted--
          • state whether contributory liability is claimed from the worker or another party; and
          • state the extent, expressed as a percentage, to which liability is admitted; and
        • if liability is denied, completely or partly—give particulars of the basis on which liability is denied; and
      • state whether the insurer accepts or rejects any offer of settlement that may be made by the claimant; and
      • if the claimant did not make an offer of settlement in the notice of claim or the insurer is rejecting the offer--contain a genuine offer or counter-offer of settlement, or a statement of the reasons why an offer or counter-offer of settlement can not yet be made; and
      • be accompanied by copies of all medical reports, assessments of cognitive, functional or vocational capacity, or other material in the insurer’s possession not previously given to the claimant that may help the claimant to make a proper assessment of the offer.

    Part 6 – Settlement of claims

    289 Compulsory conference

    1. Before the claimant starts a proceeding for damages, there must be a conference of the parties (the compulsory conference).
    2. Any party may call the compulsory conference. 
    3. The compulsory conference must be held within 3 months after the insurer gives the claimant a written notice under section 281. 
    4. However, if the parties agree, the conference may be held at a later date. 
    5. If the insurer is WorkCover, WorkCover must advise the worker’s employer of the time and place of the compulsory conference. 
    6. On application by a party, the court—
    • may—
      • fix the time and place for the compulsory conference; or
      •  dispense with the compulsory conference for good reason; and
    • may make any other orders the court considers appropriate. 
  • In considering whether to dispense with the compulsory conference, the court must take into account the extent of compliance by the parties with their respective obligations in relation to the claim. 
  • The claimant in person, a person authorised to settle on the insurer’s behalf and a person authorised to settle on behalf of any contributor must attend the conference and actively participate in an attempt to settle the claim, unless the claimant or person has a reasonable excuse. 
  • If it would be unreasonable for all parties to attend at the same place, for example, because of distance or illness, the conference may be conducted by telephone conferencing, videoconferencing or another form of communication that allows reasonably contemporaneous and continuous communication between the parties.
  • 292 Claimant and insurer to make written final offer if claim not settled at compulsory conference

    1. If the claim is not settled at a conference, both the claimant and the insurer must make a written final offer at the conference.
      • If more than 1 claim was the subject of the compulsory conference, the written final offer may be a consolidated final offer for all the claims.
      • A consolidated final offer must detail the portion of the offer applicable to each claim.
      • A consolidated final offer can only be accepted or rejected in full.
    2. The final offer must remain open for 10 business days and proceedings must not be started while the offer remains open.
    3. If the claimant brings a proceeding in a court for the claim, the claimant must, at the start of the proceeding, file at the court a sealed envelope containing a copy of the claimant's offer.
    4. The insurer must, after being served with the legal process that starts the proceeding, file at the court a sealed envelope containing a copy of the insurer's offer.
    5. The court must not read the offers until it has decided the claim.
    6. However, the court must have regard to the offers in making a decision about costs.

    293 Settlement of claim for damages

    If a claim or contribution claim is settled before the start of a court proceeding, the parties to the settlement must sign a discharge for the claim.

    Part 7 – Start of court proceedings

    294 Application of div 1

    This division states the conditions that must be satisfied before a claimant can start a court proceeding.

    300 Carriage of proceedings

    1. If a proceeding is brought for damages, the proceeding must be brought against the employer of the injured or deceased worker and not against WorkCover. 
    2. However, a proceeding may, and may only, be brought against WorkCover if— 
    • the employer was an individual and can not be adequately identified, is dead or can not practically be served; or 
    • the employer was a corporation and has been wound up; or
    • the employer was self-insured at the time of the event and WorkCover has since assumed the employer’s liability for the injury. 
  • If a claim has not been settled at a compulsory conference, then despite any rule of court, the legal process that starts the proceeding must be served on the employer— 
    • within 60 days after the day the conference was held; or 
    • within the further period that the court orders on the claimant’s application. 
  • If the employer is not a self-insurer, legal process that starts the proceeding must be served on WorkCover within 30 days after the employer has been served, and no step may be taken in the proceeding until WorkCover or the self-insurer has been served. 
  • WorkCover is entitled to conduct for an employer, other than an employer who is a self-insurer, all proceedings taken to enforce the claim or to settle any matter about the claim. 
  • An employer who is a self-insurer is entitled to conduct all proceedings taken to enforce the claim or to settle any matter about the claim. 
  • In addition to an employer’s obligation under section 280(1), the employer, other than an employer who is a self-insurer, immediately on being required by WorkCover to do so, must execute all documents and do everything that WorkCover considers reasonably necessary to allow the proceedings to be conducted by it.
  • If an employer, other than an employer who is a self-insurer— 
    • is absent from the State or, after reasonable inquiry, can not be found; or 
    • refuses, fails or is unable to execute documents mentioned in subsection (7); WorkCover may execute for the employer all documents that it may require or requires the employer to execute for subsection (7).

    Part 12 - Costs

    310 Application of div 1

    This division applies only if the claimant is--

    • a worker who does not have a terminal condition, if the worker’s DPI is 20% or more; or
    • a worker who has a terminal condition; or
    • a dependant.

    311 Principles about orders as to costs

    If a court has assessed damages in the claimant's proceeding for damages, it must apply the principles set out in sections 312 to 314.

    312 Costs if written final offer by claimant

    1. This section applies if--
      • the claimant makes a written final offer that is not accepted by the insurer; and
      • the claimant obtains a judgment no less favourable to the claimant than the written final offer; and
      • the court is satisfied that the claimant was at all material times willing and able to carry out what was proposed in the written final offer.
    2. The court must order the insurer to pay the claimant's costs, calculated on the indemnity basis, unless the insurer shows another order for costs is appropriate in the circumstances.

    313 Costs if written final offer by insurer

    1. This section applies if--
      • the insurer makes a written final offer that is not accepted by the claimant; and
      • the claim is dismissed, the court makes no award of damages or makes an award of damages that is equal to or less than the insurer’s written final offer; and 
      • the court is satisfied that the insurer was at all material times willing and able to carry out what was proposed in the written final offer. 
    2. The court must --
    • order the insurer to pay the claimant’s costs, calculated on the standard basis, up to and including the day of service of the written final offer; and
    • order the claimant to pay the insurer’s costs, calculated on the standard basis, after the day of service of the written final offer.

    Part 12 - Costs

    315 Application of div 2

    This division applies if the claimant is a worker who does not have a terminal condition and has a DPI of less than 20%.

    316 Principles about orders as to costs

    1. No order about costs, other than an order allowed under this section, is to be made by the court in the claimant's proceeding.
    2. If a claimant or an insurer makes a written final offer of settlement that is refused, the court must, in the following circumstances, make the order about costs provided for— 
    • if the court later awards an amount of damages to the worker that is equal to or more than the worker’s written final offer—an order that the insurer pay the worker’s costs on the standard basis from the day of the written final offer; 
    • if the court later dismisses the worker’s claim, makes no award of damages or awards an amount of damages that is equal to or less than the insurer’s written final offer—an order that the worker pay the insurer’s costs on the standard basis from the day of the final offer.
  • If an award of damages is less than the claimant’s written final offer but more than the insurer’s written final offer, each party bears the party’s own costs.
  • SCHEDULE 6 DICTIONARY

    dependency claim means a claim in relation to a fatal injury brought on behalf of a deceased’s dependants or estate.

    DPI, for an injury of a worker, means an estimate, expressed as a percentage, of the degree of the worker’s permanent impairment assessed and decided in accordance with the GEPI.

    hospitalisation, of a worker, means the admission of the worker in a private hospital or public hospital for medical treatment for the worker’s injury.

    industrial deafness means loss of hearing (other than total loss of hearing in either ear) caused by excessive noise.

    medical treatment means--

    • treatment by a doctor, dentist, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, psychologist, chiropractor, osteopath, podiatrist or speech pathologist; or
    • assessment for industrial deafness by an audiologist; or
    • the provision of diagnostic procedures or skiagrams; or
    • the provision of nursing, medicines, medical or surgical supplies, curative apparatus, crutches or other assistive devices.

    The above is only a small excerpt from the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld). Workers' compensation claims in Queensland are complex.  If you have been injured at work or whilst working in Queensland, you should call us The Personal Injury Lawyers who may be able to assist with any claims or queries. 

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