REVIEW OF PRESUMPTIVE PROVISIONS FOR PRIVATE SECTOR WORKERS IN RELATION TO PTSD

ACIL Allen has been engaged by the WorkCover Tasmania Board to undertake a review to consider whether a rebuttable presumption should apply to certain categories of private sector workers that contract Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the course of their employment, so that the cause of the PTSD would be presumed to be work-related.

In June 2019 the Tasmanian Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment (Presumption as to Cause of Disease) Act 2019 came into effect which established a rebuttable presumption that PTSD suffered by public sector workers is work-related for the purpose of workers compensation.

The reform followed a 2018 statutory review relating to entitlements under the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (‘the Act’) for workers suffering PTSD (read the report here).

Following the 2018 review, the Tasmanian Government announced that it would conduct an additional review to consider whether there are certain categories of private sector workers that are identified as having a significant risk of contracting PTSD in the course of their employment who would also benefit from the presumption.

The objectives of this review are to consider:

- how presumptive provisions in relation to PTSD could most appropriately be applied to persons not employed or appointed by the State, including:

  • the persons whom it would be appropriate to apply the presumption, for example, by occupation and exposure; and
  • the qualifications or limitations (if any) that ought to apply for such provisions, for example, to ensure presumption is applied specifically to persons placed at significant risk of contracting PTSD in the course of their employment or involvement in activities covered by the Act, and

- whether presumptive provisions, as defined above, ought to be introduced.

ACIL Allen is seeking submissions from interested parties on these issues.

Submissions are to be emailed to PTSD@acilallen.com.au by 5pm on 30 August 2019.  All submissions will be kept confidential, however please include your name, organisation (if applicable) and contact details.

If you have any questions regarding the review or the submission process, please contact the ACIL Allen consultants at PTSD@acilallen.com.au.