NSW Workers Comp decision shows new laws are retrospective

24th Oct 2012

Contrary to NSW Government assertions that recently introduced austere workers compensation laws would not be retrospective, a matter decided in the NSW Workers Compensation Commission yesterday, shows that, in fact, they will.

The case examined the interpretation of the savings and transitional provisions of the Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2012, and whether injured worker Ron Goudappel was entitled to lump sum compensation for an injury that occurred before June 19, being the date on which the new provisions relating to lump sum compensation apply, but where his claim for lump sum compensation was made after that date.

“Public guarantees to date by the NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell have been that the new NSW Workers Compensation laws, which remove lump sum entitlements and compensation for those injured between work and home, would only apply for injuries that occurred after June 19 when the amendment came into effect,” ALA NSW spokesman, Anthony Scarcella, said.

“But as the decision in Goudappel v ADCO Constructions proves, this is not the case,” Mr Scarcella said.

“Ron Goudappel made his claim for lump sum compensation on June 20 and so the new law applied to him.

"Judge Keating formed the view that the clear purpose of the amending legislation was to restrict lump sum compensation for lump sum claims made on an after June 19,” Mr Scarcella said.

“The date of injury and the date on which Mr Goudappel initially made a claim for workers compensation was irrelevant. What was relevant was the date on which a claim for lump sum compensation was made. In other words, the amending act is retrospective!” he said.

Read the case here.


Tags: NSW Workers' rights Workers compensation