The latest industry insights into compensation law.

Queensland’s WorkCover Scheme Continues to Lead the Way

We have blogged a number of times in the past about Queensland’s WorkCover system and particularly how it provides an efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable system of compensating injured workers compared to the Workers’ Compensation schemes that exist in most other Australian States and Territories. Of course, no system is perfect, but for years Queensland’s system has done a good job of striking a balance between adequate compensation of injured workers on the one hand, and managing costs of the entire system at a sustainable level. It has achieved this in no small part as a result of having a more limited system of statutory support for injured workers which increases the focus on the need of rehabilitating injured workers in a timely way and thus conclude the claim, while preserving the right of permanently injured workers to seek common law damages if the injury has an ongoing effect on work capacity and if the injury has been caused by the employer’s negligence.

 The contrast is with systems that occur in most of the other States and Territories of Australia which have a more open ended system of statutory support, very limited common law rights, and arguably, a less intense focus on rehabilitating injured workers back to work.

 The superiority of the Queensland system in this regard is well represented by the following table from an information paper published by Queensland’s Workers Compensation Regulatory Services entitled “2023 review of the operation of the Queensland workers compensation scheme”.

Some key takeaways from this table are:

  1. As a proportion of total expenditure, the Queensland system has the highest proportion of funds going to claimants (combination of funds paid direct to a claimant and services to claimant);
  2. Queensland has the second lowest level of expenditure on dispute resolution (i.e. legal costs, funding of tribunals, and any other expenses relating to disputes between claimants and the workers compensation insurer);
  3. Queensland has the lowest percentage of “other administration” costs – undoubtedly because of the massive bureaucracies required to manage the “long tail” systems that exist in other jurisdictions;
  4. Queensland has by far the lowest level of costs related to insurance operations of all the schemes.

 All of which goes to reinforce the conclusion that Queensland continues to mainatin a very strong and sustainable Workers Compensation Scheme.

John has practised in the area of compensation law for over 25 years. He has extensive experience across all types of claims for clients from all walks of life. John is a Queensland Law Society Accredited Specialist.

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State updated!
Your state has been updated to QLD. Practice areas on compensation law have been updated.