Posted on 14 Dec, 2020

Christmas can be dangerous!

Here are 3 things to consider for the Christmas break:

  1. Staff wellbeing
  2. Work Christmas party
  3. Changes to return to work Legislations

Christ­mas is a dan­ger­ous time of year for work­ers

This time of year is a dan­ger­ous peri­od for staff, as we rush to fin­ish up work projects and push tight dead­lines, man­age­ment and staff are dis­tract­ed. As you pre­pare to close for the Christ­mas break do not com­pro­mise safe­ty and talk with your team about work­ing safely. 

It is the same care­ful approach that is need­ed when a busi­ness reopens in the New Year. Plan your work­load to allow staff to ease back into the focussed men­tal and phys­i­cal lev­els need­ed to car­ry out their work safe­ly and in a time­ly manner.

Par­ty, Par­ty, Party

With Christ­mas just around the cor­ner it’s time to con­sid­er a few points for your work Christ­mas party:

  • Remem­ber it is a work event 
  • Know when to call it a night
  • If you’re hav­ing alco­hol, serve drinks responsibly
  • Man­age rumors and complaints 
  • Use a pro­fes­sion­al pho­tog­ra­ph­er, to lim­it social media

And after two gas explo­sions in the past 18 months involv­ing built-in bar­be­cues remem­ber to check your own BBQ too. 

Did you know the NT Return to Work Leg­is­la­tion has changed? 

Here are a few of the key changes that have been made:

  • Return to work plans — In 2015 a change was made to improve return to work out­comes by impos­ing an oblig­a­tion on an employ­er to devel­op a pro­pos­al for a return-to-work plan if the work­er was like­ly to be inca­pac­i­tat­ed for more than 28 days. The leg­is­la­tion should have been amend­ed to allow for this pro­pos­al to be devel­oped by employ­ers with­out the man­dat­ed use of voca­tion­al. reha­bil­i­ta­tion providers.

This amend­ment inserts new sub­sec­tion (6A) and note into s75A to the effect that an employ­er may, but is not required, to use an accred­it­ed voca­tion­al reha­bil­i­ta­tion provider for the pur­pose of pro­vid­ing a pro­pos­al for a return-to-work plan as per s75A(1)©.

  • Refusal to pay for med­ical treat­ment — One of the key amend­ments intro­duced in 2015 was that an insur­er must not refuse to pay for med­ical treat­ment unless sup­port­ing med­ical opin­ion exist­ed and a copy of that opin­ion was sup­plied to the work­er togeth­er with a state­ment of rights of appeal. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, s73(4) is premised on the basis of costs incurred’, leav­ing it open for an employer/​insurer to argue that future or immi­nent treat­ment has not been incurred”.

The amend­ment made will ensure the employer/​insurer can’t avoid lia­bil­i­ty for pro­posed treat­ment’ unless they have sup­port­ing opinions.

  • Inclu­sion of jour­ney claims — This sec­tion rein­states the cov­er­age for jour­ney claims as applic­a­ble pri­or to the 2015 amend­ments. Accord­ing­ly, injuries sus­tained involv­ing a motor vehi­cle are exclud­ed from cov­er­age. Such injuries are cov­ered under the Motor Acci­dents Com­pen­sa­tion (MAC) scheme. How­ev­er, there are the fol­low­ing excep­tions to the motor vehi­cle exclusions:
  • A jour­ney to or from a work­place, oth­er than the work­ers’ nor­mal work­place at the request of the employ­er will be covered.
  • Work­ers who are trav­el­ing from home to work as a result of a call out by an employ­er whether paid for the call out trav­el or not will be covered.

This amend­ment also reaf­firms oth­er sce­nar­ios where jour­ney claims (except for those

involv­ing the use of a motor vehi­cle) can be made:

  • to and from work or home and an edu­ca­tion­al facil­i­ty as part of their train­ing as expect­ed by their employer.
  • on a jour­ney from the work­place of one employ­er, on a work­ing day, to the work­place of anoth­er if the claimant works for both employers.
  • when trav­el­ling for the pur­pos­es of a worker’s com­pen­sa­tion claim.
  • State­ment of fit­ness for work — This amend­ment gives effect to Sched­ule 1 of the amend­ment Act. The sched­ule iden­ti­fies the words state­ment of fit­ness for work’ wher­ev­er occur­ring in the prin­ci­pal Act and replaces them by the words med­ical cer­tifi­cate of capacity’. 

There is some­times con­fu­sion among employ­ers and work­ers about whether the state­ment of fit­ness for work” is in fact a med­ical cer­tifi­cate. The change in name will clar­i­fy that it is a med­ical certificate.

If you would like help with updat­ing your Return-to-Work Pro­ce­dures, con­tact Rosie at Safe Busi­ness Sys­tems NT or call 0428 520 920

Mer­ry Christ­mas keep safe!