Bill to give WA health workers contracting COVID-19 access to workers compensation

WA’s health care workers will be better supported through new laws to ease the burden if they contract COVID-19.

The McGowan Government will introduce a bill amending an act that will enable health workers to provide a presumption of work-related injury if they contract COVID-19 and claim workers’ compensation.

Under The Worker’s Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981, regulations will be amended to establish a presumption of work-related injury for specified disease suffered in specified classes of employment.

It will make health care workers suffering COVID-19 as a priority and not require them to undergo lengthy and costly claim investigations to prove they contracted COVID-19 at work.

Health Minister Roger Cook said it was important to support health care workers that were affected by coronavirus.

“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,” Mr Cook said.

“It’s vital we give them the support they need, which is why this Bill is important.”

Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston said it was 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,” Mr Johnston said.

“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.”

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