Following an extensive review of the workers compensation scheme in Western Australia under the previous Liberal government, recently the Labor government have announced that they will introduce new workers compensation legislation in Western Australia.
Much of the concern in relation to the worker’s compensation legislation was that it has been amended in a piecemeal manner constantly over many years, following the passing of the most recent legislation in 1981.
Anyone who has practised in the area of workers compensation in Western Australia will know that this legislation has its limits, there are still many ambiguities and inherent contradictions in the legislation. In many cases we are reliant on case law in order to interpret the problems with the legislation, however, in every day practice it becomes apparent that there are still many holes in the legislation which have not yet been plugged, and this results in longer legal battles and more problems for injured people.
Foyle Legal is happy to learn of the creation of new legislation. We understand the new legislation will repeal the use of termination dates which is a feature of the current legislation. In our view the termination dates are very harsh provisions of the act. Workers do not understand the term, ‘termination date’ and therefore in many cases workers lose their ability to pursue a common-law claim against their employer, without even understanding that they had such a right in the first place.
While we are happy to learn of the creation of the new legislation, we are concerned about the possibility that mechanisms to allow workers to settle their claims will be taken away. We intend to work with government authorities to try and make sure that before the bill reaches State Parliament, it is indeed a piece of legislation that improves the system, rather than taking something away that works well.
In our view, the current legislation has many problems. One of those problems is that it is very difficult for a worker who is unable to return to work as a result of an accident to obtain weekly payments of compensation over the current maximum of $224,921. Under the current legislation a worker needs to prove that they are permanently totally incapacitated to obtain an extension of the prescribed amount. It is very rare for workers to pass the test that they are permanently totally incapacitated as a result of the workplace injury.
Foyle Legal has practised for many years in the area of workers compensation law, and practices in both the District Court and WorkCover in relation to this area. If you have made a workers compensation claim, then Foyle Legal can provide you with legal representation on a no win no fee basis, and at Foyle legal your first attendance is obligation free.
For more information, Please contact us.
6/2 Carson Road
Malaga, Perth, WA 6090
Phone: 0408 727 343
Email: [email protected]