Client Alert

Section 19B of Workers Compensation Act 1987 to be Repealed

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The NSW Government announced on Sunday 14 November 2021, that it is set to repeal Section 19B of the Workers Compensation Act 1987, which included a presumption whereby workers from prescribed employers who contracted COVID-19, had done so at work. Prescribed employers included those in Retail, Aged Care and Health Sector, Construction, Police and Emergency and several others. A full list of the prescribed employers can be found here.

Section 19B was introduced in May 2020 when there was not a lot known about COVID-19 and its transmission. Premier Dominic Perrotett has now said, “Now we know more about COVID-19 and its transmission, amendments under Section 19B of the Act must be repealed so the workers compensation system is both fair to employees and ensuring businesses aren’t hit with an unexpected spike in their insurance bills”.

Treasurer Matt Kean has also said that “the NSW Government is ensuring businesses don’t foot the bill for more than half a billion dollars in premium increases by repealing these amendments.”

Reports indicate that the NSW Government will introduce a bill to repeal the automatic workers compensation presumption established under section 19B of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 this week.

Mercer Marsh Benefits will continue to monitor these development and support any queries you may have on claims associated to COVID-19.

The full media release from the NSW Government can be found here.

If you would like to learn more or have any questions, please contact your Worker’s Compensation broker at Mercer Marsh Benefits or contact us here.

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