COVID-19 Legislative Amendment (Emergency Measures) Act 2020 has been passed by Parliament on the 24 March 2020. This Act includes changes to the Workers Compensation Act 1987 and the Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 to relieve pressure on general practitioners and the overall health system during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The legislative changes create regulation and guideline making powers to provide a degree of flexibility for certification of an injured person’s ability to work.
We will let you know once these changes are in place.
After a medical practitioner has assessed the full health needs of an injured person and provided an initial certificate of fitness or certificate of capacity, second and subsequent certificates can be provided by a treating allied health professional. This will need to be in accordance with the Workers Compensation Regulation 2016 for workers compensation or the Motor Accidents Guidelines for motor accident injury compensation. Prior to the amendments, only a medical practitioner could provide this certification.
The changes will also make it easier for injured workers and road users who cannot work due to their injuries continue to receive their weekly benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, without needing to visit their treating doctor.
We are working to prepare the supporting Regulation for the Minister and amendment to the Motor Accidents Guidelines issued by SIRA. Further information will be provided as soon as the changes come into effect.