Navigating the New Landscape: Key Legislative Changes in Workers’ Compensation


The 1981 Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act in Western Australia has undergoing significant review, extensive consultation with key stakeholders and the WA public. The commencement date for the new Act is 1 July 2024.

Changes aim to modernise the legislation, making it more comprehensive and supportive of both worker and employers to better support workers in their return to work after experiencing a workplace injury.

Access information sheets by visiting WorkCover WA.

Key Changes

Expanded Coverage

The definition of “worker” is broadened to include more individuals under the protection of the workers compensation scheme. This change ensures more workers are covered and can access necessary benefits if they are injured on the job.

Enhanced Benefits

There will be an increase in the cap for weekly compensation payments, ensuring injured workers receive adequate financial support. Additionally, there will be improved benefits for dependents of deceased workers, including increased lump sum payments and additional compensation for funeral expenses. These changes aim to provide better financial security for workers and their families during challenging times.

Simplified Claims Process

Process streamlining is intended to reduce administrative burdens on both workers and employers, making it easier and quicker to resolve claims. The process enhancements are expected to lead to faster resolutions and less bureaucracy, benefiting all parties involved.

Return to Work Obligations

Employers will now have more robust requirements to support injured workers in returning to their jobs. This includes the development of return-to-work plans tailored to individual workers’ needs, promoting a smoother transition back to work and aiding in their recovery.

Medical and Health Benefits

Medical and health benefits will be extended, ensuring that workers receive the necessary treatments without undue delay. This extension is crucial for the prompt and effective treatment of injuries, facilitating better health outcomes for workers.

Dispute Resolution

The updated Act also introduces more robust mechanisms for dispute resolution, making the process quicker and more transparent. These enhancements aim to resolve disputes efficiently, minimizing the stress and uncertainty for workers and employers alike.

Employer Actions

Review Insurance Policies

  • Ensure current workers’ compensation insurance policies align with the new definitions and expanded coverage requirements.

Update Internal Processes

  • Revise internal claims handling procedures to comply with the new streamlined process.
  • Implement or enhance return-to-work programs in accordance with the updated obligations.

Educate and Train Staff

  • Conduct training sessions for HR and management teams on the new regulations and their implications.
  • Inform all employees about the changes in their rights and the process for making claims under the new system.

Engage with Insurers and Legal Advisors

  • Work closely with insurance providers to understand the changes and ensure seamless coverage.
  • Consult with legal advisors to ensure full compliance with the updated Act and avoid potential penalties.

Prepare for Financial Implications

  • Budget for potential increases in insurance premiums due to enhanced benefits and expanded coverage.
  • Allocate resources for the implementation of return-to-work programs and other new requirements.


Spring Safety Consultants Support

To help with these changes, Spring Safety Consultants can offer support through the following forms and procedures:

Return-to-Work Plans

  • A written plan that outlines the steps and accommodation needed for an injured worker to safely return to work. Return-to Work Plans are personalised documents based on the workers condition and job requirements.

Alternative Duties Guide

  • Provides information on temporary duties that can be assigned to an employee when they are unable to perform their regular tasks due to injury.

Injury Management Policy

  • An agreement to provide a safe and healthy workplace that endeavours to minimise risk as far as reasonably practicable for all employees and contractors.

Injury Management Procedure

  • A procedure to provide best possible response to the management of workplace injuries, so injured workers can remain at work or return to work at the earliest appropriate time.

Workplace Rehabilitation

  • When injury management requires outside expertise, Spring Safety Consultants recommend long term friend and colleague, Adam Lillee, owner of Fluid Workplace Rehabilitation. Contact his specialised Occupational Therapy team for support.

These forms and procedures help ensure compliance with the new act and support the smooth reintegration of injured workers into the workforce.

Case study – Karratha business 

Spring Safety Consultants were approached by a business in Karratha, to respond to requests from their insurance company to ensure compliance with the new Workers Compensation Act and Regulations. Kelsey Baker and Asha Lague developed the following WHS and Workers’ Compensation & Injury Management documents for them within a week!

  • Work Health and Safety Policy
  • Injury Managment Policy
  • Pre-Employment Policy
  • Incident Management Procedure
  • Injury Management Procedure
  • Alternatives Duties Plan
  • Return to Work Program
  • Workplace Rehabilitation Referral Form
  • WHS Site Audit Inspection Report Template

Please contact Kelsey Baker our HSEQ Consulting Manager, today for your HSEQ technical writing requirements.


We encourage you to take a fresh look at your current workers compensation claims and injury management processes and make necessary enhancements. Well-trained employees are key to minimising financial mistakes and a compliant workplace.

At Spring Safety, we understand the challenges of managing injury management and workplace health and safety. As an award-winning consultancy in Perth, Western Australia, we integrate with your business to provide customised solutions.

Our highly skilled consultants, who are university qualified and hold lead auditor credentials, bring extensive industry experience to support your safety journey. Partner with us to create a resilient and secure workplace for your team.


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