Workers compensation

  • Work safety poster leads to $200,000 damages award

    21st Oct 2021

    Emily Wittig from Stacks Collins Thompson examines a recent case where a female employee was awarded $200,000 in damages by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. The Court agreed that a work safety poster featuring the words ‘Feel Great – Lubricate!’ over a photo of the employee resulted in the employee feeling ‘exposed, humiliated and ashamed’ and led to her resignation.

  • SA workers’ compensation revisions remain concerning

    25th Aug 2021

    Revisions to the South Australian workers’ compensation Impairment Assessment Guidelines gazetted yesterday are an improvement on the changes originally proposed, but lawyers remain concerned that some changes were made despite strong objections.

  • Proposed changes to workers comp laws will lead to more disputes and legal action

    21st Jul 2021

    Proposed changes to the state’s workers’ compensation laws will disadvantage injured workers and mean workers are more likely to have to fight through the tribunal and courts to receive compensation, say lawyers.

  • Badly injured SA workers to be hit hard by proposed changes to workers comp laws

    22nd Jun 2021

    Injured workers in South Australia will be badly affected by proposed changes to the workers’ compensation laws which are being made without proper scrutiny, say lawyers.

  • Horseplay in the workplace leads to damages

    6th May 2021

    Emily Wittig from Stacks Collins Thompson discusses a case where a ‘bit of fun’ at work goes too far and leads to serious injury. She highlights the duty of care owed by employers to provide competent supervisors and a safe workplace, and the significant dangers of injury and death when this duty is breached.

  • Continuing grim reality of work-related fatalities

    14th Jan 2021

    A total of 3,751 workers were killed in work-related incidents between 2003 and 2018. The number of non-fatal work-related injuries in Australia is also extreme.

    Justin Stack observes that changes in legislation have made it more difficult for injured workers to obtain adequate compensation and he discusses avenues through which NSW workers can challenge an insurer’s decision or dispute the amount of compensation they have been awarded.

  • Provisional payments Bill will benefit workers experiencing mental illness

    27th Nov 2020

    Victorian workers who experience a work-related mental illness will benefit from having much quicker access to treatment and payments due to new legislation which allows for provisional payments to be made, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).

  • Employers held responsible for domestic violence when staff WFH

    8th Oct 2020

    In Workers Compensation Nominal Insurer v Hill [2020] NSWCA 54, it was found that employers can be held responsible for domestic violence when employees work from home.

    Emily Wittig from Stacks Collins Thompson discusses how this case demonstrates that employers must ensure that there are no safety risks involved with WFH, including the threat of domestic violence. This requires the implementation of informed and proactive policies that will protect workers, particularly relevant in current times with more employees WFH due to COVID-19.

  • Call for NSW workers’ compensation scheme to be scrapped

    13th Aug 2020

    In light of concerns raised in the recent media investigation of the NSW workers' compensation scheme, Jeremy Roche compares NSW’s scheme with that of Queensland. He claims that NSW should copy the Queensland workers’ compensation scheme as it is more profitable, fair, efficient and sustainable and injured claimants, along with insurers and employers, are far better off.

  • Fair compensation for work injuries ‘almost impossible’ if NSW scheme issues not resolved

    3rd Aug 2020

    Issues within the operation of the NSW Workers’ Compensation Scheme must be resolved otherwise it will become almost impossible for injured workers to receive fair compensation, according to the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).

  • Reform needed to fix failings of workers’ comp schemes

    28th Jul 2020

    Serious issues in the workers’ compensation schemes in NSW and Victoria, revealed yesterday by The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and ABC TV's Four Corners, highlight an urgent need for reform and require further investigation, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).

  • New workplace manslaughter laws in Victoria

    2nd Jul 2020

    Sam Vasaiwalla explains the new Workplace Safety Legislation Amendment (Workplace Manslaughter and Other Matters) Act 2019 (Vic), effective from 1 July 2020. This new law makes workplace manslaughter a criminal offence in Victoria, with penalties of up to $16.5 million and 20 years’ jail.

  • VIC emergency plans for prisoners are inhumane Bill needs careful scrutiny: ALA

    22nd Apr 2020

    Careful scrutiny of the Victorian COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020 is needed as the scope is broad and the powers are significant, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).  

  • What solicitors should tell their personal injury clients about surveillance

    19th Mar 2020

    Tom Goudkamp OAM explains what legal advisors should tell their personal injury clients about insurer surveillance. If clients are truthful with doctors, medico-legal experts and their lawyers, surveillance will not harm them, and may even help their cases. Tom explains that the opportunity for insurers to ambush clients in court is now limited.

  • Queensland reforms affecting workers’ comp claims for psychological injuries

    5th Mar 2020

    Jessica Hodge explains the changes affecting workers' compensation claims for psychological injury in Queensland which commenced late last year. She argues that while the removal of ‘major’ from the required standard for a psychological injury represents a positive step for employees, particularly those with pre-existing psychological conditions, it is unlikely to result in a significant increase in the claim acceptance rate. 

  • Workers comp financial problems must not be off-loaded onto injured workers: ALA

    23rd Feb 2020

    Injured workers should not be asked to bear the costs of medical treatment in an attempt to resolve financial issues within NSW’s workers compensation scheme, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).

  • Asbestos and other latent onset disease litigation: Tips and traps

    13th Feb 2020

    As Martin Rogalski explains, given the complexities that lawyers invariably confront in cases involving asbestos disease and other latent onset diseases, some fundamental matters require consideration in every case. 

  • Disputed statutory benefit matters – questions to ask your client

    16th Jan 2020

    Although all disputed statutory benefit matters are different, as Margarita Fudim (Yerusalimsky) explains, there are some questions you should be asking your client in every case. 

  • Are there dual entitlements to annual leave and weekly workers compensation payments?

    3rd Oct 2019

    Ashleigh Kemp reminds practitioners about the need to carefully review the annual leave entitlements of clients on weekly workers' compensation payments following the Full Federal Court decision in Anglican Care v NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association [2015] FCAFC 81. She also provides some practical tips about calculating these, and considers other ways in which the dual entitlement can affect clients. 

  • How social media affects compensation claims

    5th Sep 2019

    Stephen Firth provides some valuable insights into the 'dos and don'ts' of social media use by clients in compensation cases.

  • The high cost of preventable farm accidents

    4th Jul 2019

    Justin Stack details some recent cases involving preventable farm accidents and emphasises the importance of farm owners and workers understanding their workplace safety rights and obligations.

  • Gig economy decision – Fair Work Commission finds delivery riders are employees

    24th Jan 2019

    Sam Vasaiwalla explores the implications of the Fair Work Commission's decision in Joshua Klooger v Foodora Australia Pty Ltd [2018] FWC 6836.

  • Work deaths in Australia top 92 for 2018

    13th Sep 2018

    An exploration of the worker fatality and serious workplace injury rates for 2018 so far.

  • Workers’ compensation system improves with access to free legal help

    12th Jul 2018

    Justin Stack explores the proposed changes to the NSW workers' compensation scheme, changes that will improve access to legal representation for injured workers.

  • Risk of death is more than a ‘blemish’

    28th Jun 2018

    Queensland's workers’ compensation legislation supports workers who have been injured at work to get back on their feet, regardless of the cause of their injury. The exception to this is in relation to psychiatric injuries, in which case support can be denied in the event that an injury is caused by ‘reasonable management action’. Michelle Wright explores a recent case in which Industrial Commissioner Black has acted to limit the 'reasonable management action' exception.

  • A plaintiff need not be perfect

    22nd Mar 2018

    The workers’ compensation system is a minefield for plaintiffs. Having to state and re-state your injuries, being interrogated about your pain, and having to convince people about and justify your restrictions, leaves the ground fertile for credibility issues.

  • Calculating weekly payments of compensation

    2nd Nov 2017

    Janet Tucci discusses the challenges of calculating compensation figures by analysing Stebbing v State of Victoria (Department of Education and Training)

  • Privatising workers comp puts SA workers’ rights up for sale

    23rd Feb 2017

    Handing control of the South Australian workers compensation scheme to private insurers would prioritise insurer profits ahead of injured workers’ rights, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • The first interview with injured clients

    19th Jan 2017

    I’ve interviewed thousands of injured clients, some with minor injuries, and others with the worst injuries imaginable. Every interview is different.

  • Traumatising Incident (Workplace) – Employer’s Response Inadequate

    5th Oct 2016

    Sarah Dreger discusses the case of Greenway v The Corporation of the Synod of the Diocese of Brisbane [2016] QDC 195. In this case the District Court has awarded more than $450,000.00 to a young woman who developed post-traumatic stress disorder during the course of her employment as a residential carer for wayward youths. This was due to her employer's inadequate response to a traumatising incident that occurred. 

  • Police PTSD claims show insurers cannot be trusted - lawyers

    2nd Aug 2016

    The experience of police officers claiming compensation for PTSD shows insurance companies need to be held to account, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • Farnham v Pruden & Anor [2016] QCA 18

    8th Apr 2016

    Shane Lawlor provides a case note that looks at the Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld) (CLA) and the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 [(Qld) (WCRA)].

  • Solicitor Kerry Splatt named ALA QLD 2016 CJA Winner

    12th Feb 2016

    A solicitor who has been a passionate advocate for injured workers and defender of common law rights for decades has been declared the winner of the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) Queensland Civil Justice Award.

  • Vic ombudsman to investigate workers comp claims

    26th Nov 2015

    Bring on the Victorian Ombudsman’s investigation into workers compensation claims, writes Liberty Sanger, Principal at Maurice Blackburn. 

  • Timeframe for applying for Workers' Comp: A Change in Interpretation

    25th Sep 2015

    Kaine Shanahan examines the timeframe for applying for statutory workers' compensation in light of recent case law in Qld.

  • Workers comp reforms a win for Qld's injured workers, scheme stability

    17th Sep 2015

    The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) has today welcomed the passing of significant workers’ compensation scheme reforms that will see key rights restored for thousands of injured workers across Queensland.

  • NSW workers comp amendments retrospectively betray injured workers

    17th Sep 2015

    Injured workers in New South Wales have retrospectively been stripped of their right to claim lump-sum compensation despite assurances from the government that changes to the Workers Compensation Act would have no such outcome, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • Workers comp changes a step in the right direction, but more to do

    31st Aug 2015

    The NSW Government is to be commended for partially restoring workers compensation benefits which were heavily cut in 2012, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • Employers, unions and ALA fight unfair workers’ compensation Bill

    30th Jun 2015

    The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ), the Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) and the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) have joined forces in fighting proposed amendments to the Federal workers’ compensation scheme, stating the changes are a ‘retrograde step for Queensland’ that will result in higher and volatile premiums for small business and fewer benefits for the State’s 2.1 million workers.

  • Lack of unanimity in Senate report highlights Comcare’s faults

    19th Jun 2015

    Injured Australian workers could see their rights and workplace safety severely cut under government plans to slash the federal workers compensation scheme, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • ICA workers comp report looks after insurers, hurts injured workers

    15th Jun 2015

    State and Territory Governments should reject outright a self-interested report that seeks to hand operational control of workers’ compensation schemes to private insurers and cut the right to compensation of injured workers in every jurisdiction, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • Court decision shows Comcare’s failure to regulate workplace safety

    21st May 2015

    A recent court decision on workplace safety against a major Comcare licensee is evidence that the federal scheme is failing its core responsibility of regulating workplace safety, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • Comcare OK for workers but not good enough for politicians

    13th May 2015

    The Federal Government has admitted the Comcare scheme is not up to scratch by quietly funding its own parliamentary injury compensation scheme in last night’s Budget, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • Senator Abetz’s attacks on injured workers do nothing to fix Comcare

    15th Apr 2015

    Comments from Federal Public Service Minister Eric Abetz that seek to minimise the impacts of proposed changes to the nation’s Comcare scheme are not only dishonest, they also serve as a further hit on injured workers, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • Workers compensation scheme key to protecting our ageing workforce

    7th Apr 2015

    The expectation that Australians will work past the age of 65 needs to be framed in a long-term vision that finds a sustainable balance between workers compensation, the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Centrelink, or risk breaking the system, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • Urgent need for review of NSW workers compensation scheme

    6th Mar 2015

    A report which revealed thousands of injured employees who lost workers compensation benefits following changes to the scheme has highlighted the need for an urgent review of these amendments, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • ACT’s new compensation scheme can heal Comcare’s damage

    27th Feb 2015

    Arbitrary time limits and cuts to injury and rehabilitation entitlements have no place in a genuine workers compensation scheme which protects workers’ rights, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • ACT govt pulling out of Comcare is a step in the right direction

    26th Feb 2015

    The ACT government is to be commended for pulling its support from the fundamentally flawed Comcare workplace insurance scheme, demonstrating strong leadership and supporting workers’ rights, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • Injured workers must be a priority for Qld election

    16th Jan 2015

    The forthcoming Queensland State election presents a real opportunity for all sides of politics to restore rights for Queenslanders injured in unsafe workplaces, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • Comcare changes threaten workers’ rights and workplace safety

    28th Nov 2014

    State and territory-based workers’ compensation schemes are in danger of being abandoned by employers if changes to the Comcare scheme are approved, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • Parliamentary Committee says heal damaged workers compensation scheme

    18th Sep 2014

    Recommendations by a bipartisan NSW Parliamentary Committee to restore medical benefits to workers have been welcomed by the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).

  • Senate should reject proposed changes to Comcare scheme

    24th Jul 2014

    The Senate’s Education and Employment Standing Committee recently released its report dealing with proposed legislative changes to the Comcare workers compensation scheme. The Senate should reject the proposed changes, writes Geoff Wilson.

  • The bitter taste of WorkCover SA

    17th Jul 2014

    Renowned nationally for its battered financial status, inadequate benefits to workers and long delays, it’s time to consider a new scheme for injured workers in South Australia, writes Patrick Boylen, SA President of the Australian Lawyers Alliance. 

  • Comcare changes to gut state workers’ compensation schemes

    9th Jul 2014

    State and territory-based workers’ compensation schemes risk being gutted as a result of changes to the Comcare scheme which have been examined by a Senate committee report, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • Media coverage, July 2014

    1st Jul 2014

    Just some of the media coverage generated by the Australian Lawyers Alliance or its members during the month of July 2014.

  • South Australian conference highlights workers comp

    20th Jun 2014

    The ALA's South Australian conference will take place at the Intercontinental Hotel, Adelaide on Friday. Featuring Deputy Premier John Rau as keynote, Mr Rau will address the failings of South Australia's workers compensation scheme. The ALA continues to call for a fundamental overhaul of the scheme.

  • Injured workers still burnt by compo changes in NSW

    12th Jun 2014

    The stark reality is that the 2012 amendments to the NSW Workers' Compensation Scheme have slashed injured workers' entitlements and their ability to make an early, safe and durable return to work, writes Anthony Scarcella, NSW Director of the Australian Lawyers Alliance.

  • Opening Comcare gates will trade off workers' rights

    11th Jun 2014

    The Federal government is planning to trade off the rights of Australian workers via opening the gates to its Comcare scheme, the Australian Lawyers Alliance said today

  • ALA submits on NSW workers compensation changes

    3rd Jun 2014

    This week, the Australian Lawyers Alliance NSW Committee provided our submission to the Centre for International Economics in its statutory review of the 2012 NSW workers compensation legislative amendments on behalf of the Office of Finance and Services.

  • Drop in premiums shows Qld govt's WorkCover changes were unnecessary

    20th May 2014

    Today’s announcement of a drop in WorkCover premiums for employers proves the Newman Government’s changes to the workers’ compensation scheme, rammed through Parliament last year, were unnecessary, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • A Q&A on QLD workers compensation changes

    8th May 2014

    ALA QLD President Michelle James answers questions about Queensland's workers compensation scheme, which removed workers' rights following amendments passed into law this year.

  • Ageing workforce at risk of injury

    6th May 2014

    Any discussion about working life ought to include workplace injury and its consequences, the Australian Lawyers Alliance said today.

  • What 'cutting red tape' will do to injured workers nationwide

    19th Mar 2014

    The Federal government’s proposal to allow employers to shift workers into the Comcare system will take away vital support for injured workers and dilute health and safety protections nationwide, the Australian Lawyers Alliance said today.

  • NSW Workers Compensation Scheme slashing injured workers rights - ALA

    31st Oct 2013

    Injured workers rights are being slashed by Premier Barry O’Farrell, which is the only reason he and the Finance Minister were able to announce a NSW Compensation Scheme surplus, yesterday, the Australian Lawyers Alliance said today.

  • New poll shows Qld Premier's seat at risk if WorkCover laws pass

    17th Oct 2013

    A new poll shows the Premier’s own seat is at risk if the Queensland Government passes laws today to reduce injured employees’ rights for workplace injuries.

  • ALA to discuss Qld premier at risk of losing his seat

    17th Oct 2013

    Australian Lawyers Alliance spokesman Rod Hodgson will be speaking on new polling that shows the Premier is at risk of losing the seat of Ashgrove as a result of the State Government’s proposed changes to Queensland’s WorkCover scheme today (Thursday) morning at Parliament House.

  • WorkCover changes hurt all Queenslanders

    15th Oct 2013

    Today's changes to Queensland's WorkCover scheme announced by the Attorney-General will hurt employers, employees and taxpayers and have been announced without any basis in fact.

  • Queensland still has nation's best WorkCover scheme

    14th Oct 2013

    The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) has welcomed the release of WorkCover Queensland’s latest Annual Report, which confirms the scheme remains the best in the country and is both financially stable and fair for employers, employees and taxpayers.

  • Queensland workers compensation poll

    13th Oct 2013

    Click here to view the workers compensation poll results following a survey of 1,258 Queensland residents on 10 October 2013.

  • Queenslanders reject Government's changes to workers compensation

    13th Oct 2013

    As State Cabinet prepares to consider drastic changes to Queensland's workers compensation scheme, a new poll has shown that Queenslanders overwhelmingly support the State's current system.

  • Planned SA WorkCover overhaul benefits injured

    28th Jun 2013

    “Industrial Relations Minister John Rau’s announcement today to pay out long-term SA WorkCover injury victims is likely to facilitate better health outcomes for such workers and is a long overdue development,” Australian Lawyers Alliance SA President, Patrick Boylen, said.

  • NSW govt errors show more financial capability to help injured workers

    8th Nov 2012

    A manufactured deficit of $1billion on NSW Government’s books, which arose because of 37 accounting errors of more than $20 million each, looks like having indirectly played a role in winding back the financial entitlements of injured workers, Australian Lawyers Alliance NSW Committee member, Cliff Baker, writes.

  • 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.

  • A second rate legal review service adds insult to injury - ALA

    26th Sep 2012

    Injured workers should remain unexcited by the NSW Government’s announcement today of a new 'free legal review service' for some work injury disputes.

  • Inconsistency in NSW is draining disability rights - ALA

    30th Aug 2012

    After much negotiation, NSW has announced it will provide an extra $35 million to support the rollout of a National Disability Insurance Scheme in the Hunter region to help 10,000 people with significant disability.

  • ALA tells inquiry Newstart puts injured workers in hardship

    27th Aug 2012

    Concerns about Newstart Allowance payment inadequacy and the transition from alternative payments such of WorkCover has prompted the Australian Lawyers Alliance to submit to and appear before an Inquiry on the subject today.

  • NSW WorkCover changes - Expect mental health crisis says ALA

    4th Jul 2012

    “Traumatised families struggling to cope with horrific deaths of loved ones are being forced into financial hardship following the O’Farrell Government’s cuts to WorkCover compensation last month,” the Australian Lawyers Alliance said today.

  • O'Farrell Government adds insult to injury with WorkCover changes

    21st Jun 2012

    The Australian Lawyers Alliance has expressed its disbelief that the O’Farrell Government has pushed new severe workers compensation measures through the NSW Legislative Council yesterday, just five days after it tabled its report.

  • WorkCover advertises its own mismanagement

    28th May 2012

    WorkCover has released a list of what it describes as some of the worst cases of excessive claims that have ever been referred to it.

  • Victorian WorkCover funds continue to be plundered - ALA

    4th May 2012

    The Australian Lawyers Alliance is concerned that a three percent reduction in Victorian Workers Compensation premiums, while enticing superficially, hides a very black cloud that is floating over the rights of seriously injured workers.

  • Lawyers meet minister to discuss proposed WorkCover changes

    28th Mar 2012

    Representatives of the legal profession including, The Australian Lawyers Alliance, The NSW Bar Association and The NSW Law Society, met with Finance Minister, Greg Pearce, today, to discuss proposed changes to Workers Compensation and Motor Accident compensation schemes.

  • Removal of Victorian WorkCover funds threatens injured workers - ALA

    10th Feb 2012

    The Australian Lawyers Alliance is concerned that a Victorian government plan to redirect $471.5 million in WorkCover funds away from injured worker compensation and occupational health and safety will result in more injured workers in Victoria being left without adequate care and support.