On 12 June 2017 Commerce and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston announced the Western Australian Government was drafting a bill to benefit the dependants of workers who die at work.
As at 1 July 2017 the maximum payable to the deceased worker’s dependant spouse/partner under the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 is $308,339.
The Government plans to increase this to $554,727, to be indexed annually.
Any qualifying offspring are also entitled to a childrens’ allowance which as at 1 July 2017 is $58.90 per week.
This is proposed to more than double to $133, also indexed annually.
Equality of access is also proposed for de facto partners and married spouses. The Government is concerned that de facto partners are denied compensation in certain circumstances because of outdated definitions, so the Bill will remove this legislative impediment.
We also understand the Bill will –
“simplify the method for apportioning the lump sum between multiple dependants, streamline the claims process, and ensure dependent children receive an appropriate level of financial support”.
The Minister said –
“The current workers’ compensation legislation is unfair and very complicated. We’re very keen to act now and see dependent family members of workers killed on the job receive fair and reasonable compensation, which is prioritised and expedited”.
We will continue to monitor the progress of the Bill and provide regular updates.
For more information please go to the Government of Western Australia’s media statements page.
The information published in this paper is of a general nature and should not be construed as legal advice. Whilst we aim to provide timely, relevant and accurate information, the law may change and circumstances may differ. You should not therefore act in reliance on it without first obtaining specific legal advice.