ISBN 978-0-642-33345-2 (pdf)
With the exception of the Safe Work Australia logo, this report is licensed by Safe Work Australia under a Creative Commons 3.0 Australia Licence. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/deed.en
In essence, you are free to copy, communicate and adapt the work, as long as you attribute the work to Safe Work Australia and abide by the other licensing terms. The report should be attributed as Comparison of workers’ compensation arrangements in Australia and New Zealand, 2011–12.
Enquiries regarding the licence and any use of the report are welcome at:
The information provided in this document can only assist you in the most general way. This document does not replace any statutory requirements under any relevant State and Territory legislation. Safe Work Australia accepts no liability arising from the use of or reliance on the material contained on this document, which is provided on the basis that Safe Work Australia is not thereby engaged in rendering professional advice. Before relying on the material, users should carefully make their own assessment as to its accuracy, currency, completeness and relevance for their purposes, and should obtain any appropriate professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances. To the extent that the material in this document includes views or recommendations of third parties, such views or recommendations do not necessarily reflect the views of Safe Work Australia nor do they indicate a commitment to a particular course of action.
The Comparison of Workers’ Compensation Arrangements in Australia and New Zealand provides information on the operation of workers’ compensation schemes in each of the jurisdictions in Australia and New Zealand.
This edition of the Comparison report has been substantially revised and reformatted. The main changes are that:
Chapter 1 only includes recent developments and the information on the history and evolution of workers’ compensation schemes has been moved to Appendix 1.
Chapter 2 on Schemes at a Glance has been expanded to include all information of most interest to employers, workers and their representatives.
The sections on administrative arrangements and scheme funding arrangements have been combined into a single chapter and moved to the back of the report at Chapter 7.
The comparative table of deemed diseases has been moved to Appendix 2.
The section on Self-insurer arrangements has been separated from the scheme funding arrangements and provided in a separate chapter (Chapter 6).
The Comparison provides background to the evolution of workers’ compensation arrangements in Australia and New Zealand, and discusses the way that each scheme deals with key aspects such as the size and nature of the schemes, coverage, benefits, return to work provisions, self-insurance, common law, dispute resolution and cross-border arrangements.
The majority of tables contained in this report provide a snapshot of workers’ compensation arrangements as at 30 September 2011. Note that the ACT has arrangements as at 30 June 2011. Information taken from the 13th edition of the Comparative Performance Monitoring report covers the 2009-10 financial year and some jurisdictions have reported recent developments to the end of December 2011. However, because each jurisdiction may vary its arrangements from time to time, and because there may be some exceptions to the arrangements described in this edition, readers wanting more up to date information should check with the relevant authority.
On behalf of the Heads of Workers’ Compensation Authorities (HWCA), the Victorian Workcover Authority produced this publication from 1993 to 2005. The Australian Safety and Compensation Council took over responsibility for the report in 2006 and produced it in 2006 and 2007. Safe Work Australia has been producing the report since 2008. The work of the Victorian Workcover Authority and the Australian Safety and Compensation Council is acknowledged. Safe Work Australia thanks the representatives from each jurisdiction for the valuable assistance they have provided in producing this edition of the Comparison.
Chapter 1: Recent developments in workers’ compensation schemes in Australia and New Zealand 5
Chapter 2 - Schemes at a glance 13
Table 2.1: Jurisdictional contacts 14
Table 2.2 Agencies responsible for overseeing workers’ compensation in each jurisdiction 16
Table 2.3: Key features of schemes 17
Table 2.4b: Guidelines and information for determining coverage of workers 21
Table 2.4c: Coverage of journeys and breaks 21
Table 2.4d: Definition of injury and employment contribution 22
Table 2.5: Summary of entitlements as at 30 September 2011 25
Table 2.6: Prescribed time periods for injury notification 28
Table 2.7: Prescribed time periods for claim submission 29
Table 2.8: Prescribed time periods for payments 31
Table 2.9: Dispute resolution process 33
Table 2.10: Definition of remuneration for the purpose of premium calculation 38
Table 2.11: Employer excess 40
Table 2.12: Uninsured employer provisions 41
Table 2.13: Leave accrual while on workers’ compensation 43
Table 2.14: Superannuation and workers’ compensation 45
Chapter 3 - Coverage and eligibility for benefits 46
Table 3.2: Deemed workers 50
Table 3.3: Treatment of sportspersons and sporting injuries 53
Table 3.4: Workers’ compensation arrangements for government employers 55
Table 3.5: Workers’ compensation arrangements for judges and members of parliament 57
Table 3.6: Industrial deafness thresholds 59
Table 3.7: Definition of work - journeys and breaks 59
Table 3.8: Definition of injury and relationship to employment - detailed 60
Table 3.9: Statutory definitions of permanent and impairment and criteria for determining whether impairment is permanent 63
Table 3.10: Permanent impairment guides 66
Table 3.11: Discounting of prior conditions 70
Table 3.13: Exclusionary provisions for psychological injuries 74
Table 3.14: Cross border provisions 78
Chapter 4 - Benefits 79
Table 4.1: Income replacement 81
Table 4.2: Medical, hospital and other costs 87
Table 4.3: Permanent impairment payments 93
Table 4.4: Death entitlements 96
Table 4.5: Definitions of dependants/ spouse for death benefits 98
Table 4.6: Common law provisions 104
Table 4.7: Suspension and cessation of benefits 107
Table 4.8 Incapacity benefits settlements 110
Chapter 5: Return to work 111
Table 5.1: Sections of workers’ compensation Acts and guidance material relating to return to work 112
Table 5.2a: Requirement to have a workplace rehabilitation/ return to work program or policy 115
Table 5.2b: Return to work plans - Individual return to work plans 119