The place to access your Free Legal Rights Information

Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 – 8 September 2016

Download PDF

Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 – 8 September 2016

Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation 2014 – 8 September 2016

Quick to view summary

A contractor, self-employed person, director, trustee or partner may enter into a contract of insurance with WorkCover Queensland in relation to compensation entitlements.

  • Sections 23, 24, 25

Each employer must take out accident insurance for workers with WorkCover Queensland. An application is to be made in the approved form within 5 days of when the employer starts to employ any worker. Note: A declaration of wages is to be lodged with WorkCover on or before 31 August in each year for the purposes of insurance premium assessment.

  • Sections 8, 9, 10, 11, 30, 48, 50, 51, Schedules 2, 3; Regulations 5, 6, 8, 10, Schedule 1

If a worker’s application for compensation for an injury has been allowed by WorkCover Queensland, the employer is notified and is to pay compensation to the worker (for the excess period) within 10 days of receiving notification. If the employer fails to make payment, WorkCover makes payment to the worker and may recover the amount paid & a penalty amount from the employer.

  • Sections 46, 65, 66; Regulation 15

A worker who has suffered an injury or a claimant on behalf of a worker who died may apply in the approved form within 6 months (of the injury) to WorkCover Queensland (or if applicable, the employer who is a self-insurer) for compensation. Note: No compensation is payable for self-inflicted injury and is generally not payable where the injury is caused by serious and wilful misconduct. An application is to be generally accompanied with a doctor’s certificate.

  • Sections 7, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 36A, 46, 108, 109, 109A, 110, 113, 115, 119, 120, 122, 124, 128A, 129, 130, 131, 132, 132A, 132B, 134, 135, 140, 141, 144A, 144B, 145, 147, 149, 161, 164, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 191, 192, 193, 194, 207A, 207B, 208, 232H, 232M, 232V, Schedule 6; Regulations 102, 103, 104, 105, 105A, 106, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 117B, Schedules 3, 4

An employer is to report workplace injuries to WorkCover Queensland via an approved form.

  • Sections 133, 133A

Return to work/self-employment notification is to be given to WorkCover Queensland by a worker within 10 days of returning to work/self-employment. Note: Failure to give notice can amount to fraud.

  • Sections 7, 136, 535, Schedule 6

An employer is to pay the injured worker their daily wage for the day of the injury.

  • Sections 142, 143, 144

Accounts for medical treatment (provided to a worker) must be sent to the insurer promptly and within 2 months after the treatment is completed.

  • Section 213

An insurer must take the steps it considers practicable to secure the rehabilitation and early return to suitable duties of workers who have an entitlement to compensation.

  • Section 220

An employer must appoint a rehabilitation and return to work coordinator & have in place workplace rehabilitation policy and procedures if the employer meets criteria prescribed under a regulation (the employer is a large business employer).

  • Sections 41, 44, 226, 227; Regulations 114, 115

The employer of a worker who has sustained an injury must take all reasonable steps to assist or provide the worker with rehabilitation for the period for which the worker is entitled to compensation. Note: Non-compliance with this obligation may result in a penalty.

  • Sections 40, 42, 228, 229; Regulations 116, 117

A worker must participate in any return to work program or suitable duties arranged by the insurer.

  • Sections 231, 232

Within 12 months after a worker sustains an injury, the employer must not dismiss the worker solely or mainly because the worker is not fit for employment in a position because of the injury.

  • Sections 232B, 232D, 232E, 232G

A worker who sustains an injury/claimant on behalf of a worker who died is entitled to damages where the injury results in a notice of assessment for the injury (from the insurer or as provided by section 237 of the Act) or a terminal condition/death of the worker. Note: Damages are to be reduced by the compensation payable under this Act for the injury.

  • Sections 237, 238, 239, 239A, 240, 270, 271

Prior to claiming damages by court proceeding, the worker/claimant is to provide notice of claim for damages in the approved form to the insurer. The notice must generally be accompanied by a genuine offer of settlement and all documents supporting the claim. The insurer is to respond to the notice within 10 business days. The insurer must state in their notice whether they are prepared to meet the cost of rehabilitation. Within 6 months (or 3 months for a worker with a terminal condition), the insurer is to admit or deny liability by written notice, and state whether they accept or not the offer of settlement (or make an offer of settlement where one was not previously made). Offers are generally to be accepted or rejected in writing within 10 business days. If negotiation fails, the parties must attend a compulsory conference before proceedings are commenced. The compulsory conference must generally be held within 3 months of the insurer’s notice admitting or denying liability. At least 5 days prior to the conference, the parties are to exchange documents, statements, certificates, etc. If the conference is unsuccessful, each party is to exchange written final offers at the end of the conference. The offers are to remain open for 10 business days and proceedings cannot be started until the expiry of the offers. The final offers are to be filed with the court if proceedings are commenced. Proceedings are to be commenced against the employer and not WorkCover Queensland within 60 days of the conference. WorkCover is to be notified of proceedings. WorkCover may act on behalf of the employer in all proceedings taken to enforce the claim. Note: A finding of intoxication is likely to reduce a claim for damages.

  • Sections 47, 268, 269, 275, 278, 279, 281, 287, 288, 289, 290, 290A, 291, 292, 293, 294, 295, 296, 300, 301, 302, 305B, 305D, 305E, 305G, 305H, 305J, 306C, 306I, 306L, 306M, 306N, 306P, 310, 315, 587, Schedule 5; Regulations 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 128, 130, 134, Schedule 12

A lawyer engaged by the worker must advise the worker, in writing, about the following if the worker proposes to negotiate a settlement of a claim for damages: (a) the availability of structured settlements; (b) the desirability of the worker obtaining independent financial advice about structured settlements and lump sum settlements of the claim.

  • Sections 306Q, 306S, 306T

Medical assessments tribunals are prescribed at law and generally comprise panels of specialist doctors.

  • Sections 492, 493, 494, 635; Regulation 138

A worker aggrieved by a compensation decision may apply in the approved form to the Workers’ Compensation Regulatory Authority (‘the Regulator’) within 3 months for review of the decision. A review decision is to be made within 25 business days of the application being received by the Regulator. Note: Other decisions made under this Act may be appealed within 20 business days by written notice of appeal to the Industrial Commission/Industrial Magistrates Court pursuant to section 549.

  • Sections 7, 326, 540, 541, 542, 543, 545, 546, 548, 548A, 549, 550, 552A, 552B, 553, 554, 558, 559, 561, 566, Schedule 6; Regulation 148

If requested by a prospective employer in writing, a prospective worker must disclose to the prospective employer the prospective worker’s pre-existing injury or medical condition, if any.

  • Section 571B
Reason for law

To establish a workers’ compensation scheme for Queensland. (Section 5)

Relevant links

WorkCover Queensland


Guides and fact sheets


Workers’ Compensation Regulatory Authority


Medical assessment tribunals

Workers’ Compensation Information Service [Queensland Council of Unions]


Section 3A: notes forming part of an Act is not common for Acts of Parliament.

Section 77 contains a 6 month timeframe for a government decision on an application. This timeframe may be shortened in the interests of government efficiency.

Sections 306M & 610 and regulation 128 contain the phrase ‘loss of consortium’. This phrase is not commonly understood by members of the public.

Section 306M & regulation 128 contain the phrase ‘loss of servitium’. This phrase is not commonly understood by members of the public.

Section 387 contains the phrase ‘ultra vires’. This phrase is not commonly understood by members of the public.

Section 604 contains the phrase ‘ex gratia’. This phrase is not commonly understood by members of the public.

Disclaimer: The information published on this webpage has been provided free for the benefit of the public and does not act as advice to any individual or other entity. If you require advice relating to your situation, go visit your professional adviser. The author and any third party advertising on this webpage expressly disclaim all liability for loss or damage arising from your use or reliance on the information published at any time on this webpage.

PLEASE NOTE: The information published on this webpage may be out-of-date. Please compare the currency date of the Act/Regulation against that published on the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website. If you require access to Commonwealth statute law, please visit the ComLaw website. If you require access to the local council laws (by-laws), please visit the Local laws database.

Featured image from Flickr Commons –


Access Point Law | ABN 85 103 203 656
Copyright 2015 Andrew Bird