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Workers Compensation in South Australia: Has Malinauskas Kicked an Own Goal?

Thursday 28 September 2023

We all know how much Peter Malinauskas loves sport as he has succeeded in bringing back the Adelaide 500, winning the Gather Round for the next couple of years and LIV Golf, but has he kicked an own goal, to take the sporting metaphor further, with his proposed amendments to the Return to Work 2014 Act (SA) [the RTW Act] and in particular Section 18 of the RTW Act.

Broadly speaking, the Section 18 Amendment Bill proposed by the Government will make a range of significant changes to the manner in which the RTW Act operates. It includes:

  1. provisions that facilitate claims for workers suffering certain conditions;
  2. grounds to reject a request for suitable employment;
  3. the requirement to consider certain factors in determining whether it is reasonably practicable for an employer to provide suitable employment;
  4. labour-hire requirements;
  5. right to request suitable employment after recovering from an injury;
  6. new Tribunal powers;
  7. costs;
  8. new jurisdiction for monetary claims; and
  9. impairment assessments for terminally ill workers.

Some of the proposed amendments are sensible and should be passed, namely those relating to costs and impairment assessments for terminally ill workers. Others, however, have the potential to do significant damage by unnecessarily increasing litigation in the South Australian Employment Tribunal and adding a financial burden to businesses generally in the State.

To read the full article, or download the PDF, please click here