Queensland employers to lose the right to obtain Workers’ Compensation claims histories

11 August 2015 Topics: Transport and logistics

On 29 October 2013, the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2013 (Qld) (WCR Amendment Act) came into effect and made certain changes to the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld).

One of these changes (section 571D) allowed a prospective employer, with the consent of a prospective employee, to obtain a copy of the prospective employee’s claims history summary from the Queensland Workers’ Compensation Regulator.

Proposed changes

On 15 July 2015, the Queensland government introduced the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015. The Bill seeks to repeal parts of the WCR Amendment Act. One of the sections proposed to be repealed is section 571D. If passed, this will mean that a prospective employer may no longer obtain a copy of a claims history summary from the Queensland Workers’ Compensation Regulator.

When will this take effect?

This change will take immediate effect upon assent by the Governor to the Bill, however it is unclear if and when this will happen. The next parliamentary session commences on 15 September 2015, so any changes will take place in September 2015 at the earliest.

What does this mean for employers?

Employers should begin to review their current employment application forms. If the Bill is passed, employers will need to amend their employment application forms to remove any provisions that seek the consent of a prospective employee to the employer obtaining a copy of their claims history summary.

Until the changes take effect, employers may still obtain a copy of a prospective employee’s claims history summary from the Queensland Workers’ Compensation Regulator provided they have the consent of the prospective employee.

No changes to disclosure of pre-existing injuries or medical conditions

The Bill proposes no change to section 571B of the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld). As a result, employers may continue to ask prospective employees to disclose any pre existing injury or medical condition that may be aggravated by the duties associated with the position for which they have applied.

Further information

If you would like further information about this upcoming change, please contact Annie Smeaton on +61 7 3231 2946, Belinda Winter on +61 7 3231 2498 or Gillian Bristow on +61 7 3231 2925.

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