Posted on 14 Dec, 2020
Christmas can be dangerous!
Here are 3 things to consider for the Christmas break:
- Staff wellbeing
- Work Christmas party
- 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!