The McGowan Government will introduce a Bill to ease the burden on health care workers who contract COVID-19 and require access to workers’ compensation entitlements.
Many essential health care workers are working in difficult circumstances and are at a higher risk of exposure to contracting COVID-19.
The Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 will be amended to establish a presumption of work-related injury for specified diseases suffered in specified classes of employment.
Regulations will address health care workers suffering COVID-19 as a priority, this means workers will not be required to go through lengthy and costly claim investigations to prove they contracted COVID-19 at work.
The Bill will also facilitate electronic service of some documents and remove the arbitrary ‘termination day’ that constrains a worker’s ability to pursue common law damages.
As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“Our health care workers have been magnificent on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19; their dedication and professionalism in often difficult circumstances has been exceptional.
“It’s vital we give them the support they need, which is why this Bill is important.”
As stated by Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston:
“It’s important the workers’ compensation scheme does not unfairly burden or constrain the rights of health care workers.
“This Bill will ensure they receive the support they need from providing essential services to the Western Australian community.
“The McGowan Government remains committed to the rewrite of the workers’ compensation legislation, which is at an advanced stage and will be subject to public consultation in the coming months.”
Health Minister’s office – 6552 6500