Proposed changes to Return to Work Legislation 2020

The Return to Work Legislation Amendment Bill 2020, was tabled in parliament Wednesday 2 February 2020.

The Bill reverses a number of changes made to the legislation in 2015 and improves the operation of the Northern Territory Workers Compensation Scheme. Along with numerous administrative and technical changes, further changes include:

  • Revision to the definition of worker
  • improved language
  • PAYG definition tightened to ensure original intent - that if a person should be PAYG, even if the employer is not withholding tax – is still a worker
  • labour–hire employees are deemed workers
  • provision that post-traumatic stress disorder for first responders, such as police officers, firefighters, ambulance officers or other emergency personnel be a deemed disease
  • expansion of the number of diseases under the fire fighters presumptive legislation
  • removal of the cap on normal weekly earnings for payments made after 26 weeks of incapacity
  • provision that the legislation covers injuries incurred on the way to or from work
  • amendments to debt recovery, legal costs, court-imposed settlements, and settlement by agreement to give greater legal and/or administrative clarity
  • introduces catastrophic injury criteria to align with the National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIIS).

Summary of proposed changes to the Northern Territory Workers Compensation Scheme - 2020