Compensation claims pending for those who can prove they caught COVID-19 at work

A National Insurance Regulatory Authority A spokeswoman for New South Wales spoke of an expected increase in workers’ compensation claims for those who can prove they have contracted COVID-19 in their workplace.

His comments follow speculation that compensation claims will rise as the New South Wales lockdown ends, with the industry regulator predicting a bill of up to $ 638 million within 12 months, on the base of immunization coverage of 80% of the adult population.

The estimates, the spokesperson warned, do not include costs associated with psychological injuries not associated with COVID-19 diagnoses, nor additional claims handling costs that will be incurred by insurers.

Concerns about the spike are high for both employers and building owners as they face lawsuits or potential lawsuits from staff who can prove they have been infected with COVID-19 in the past. job.

Just over 1,500 claims have been filed since the start of the pandemic, of which just over 1,000 have been filed since June 16, when the Delta epidemic actually began. Total payment for COVID-19-related claims was $ 7.1 million through July, with an expected gross cost of $ 13.9 million for the year.

While the bulk of complaints relate to industries and sectors other than early childhood education and care (ECEC), a small portion comes from the education sector at large. The majority of Level 1 exposure sites in Victoria at the time of publication are ECEC services, making the forecasting of NSW claims particularly timely for consideration in other states where Delta is felt more severely.

Last year the government of New South Wales introduced legislation to essential service workers who automatically assume they have contracted COVID-19 in the workplace, with education professionals included in the essential worker space. This automatic presumption does not apply to the millions of other employees who are expected to return to their regular workplace from Monday, which is the reasoning behind the expected spike.

Workplace lawyer Michael Tooma, Managing Partner at Clyde et Cie, Recount Brisbane weather that it might be more difficult for those who do not fall under a “prescribed job” to claim compensation for catching the virus at work, but the evidence from genomic testing and contact tracing can be used to help patients. non-essential workers to prove they have contracted COVID-19 at work.

A SafeWork NSW The spokesperson said that a person running a business or other business has an obligation to manage any potential risk of COVID-19 to workers and others in the work environment.

“Businesses and workers must comply with national and state public health orders. Requirements may require addressing office layout, use and ventilation systems, ”she said.

A spokesman for New South Wales Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello told the newspaper that while the financial impact of COVID-19 on the workers’ compensation scheme remained uncertain, the cost of Multi-billion dollar claims projected by actuaries in April 2020 had yet to materialize.

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