The Victorian Parliament Monday passed the Accident Compensation Amendment Act 2009, which contains significant reforms to workers' compensation legislation affecting Victorian employees.
Peter Hanks QC's review of Victoria's workers' compensation system was submitted to The Victorian Government in 2008 and detailed over 150 suggestions for improvement.
The "Hanks Report" recommended stricter legislation to improve employers handling of staff returning to work from injury or illness, better income protection for injured employees, and increased benefits for dependants of workers killed at work.
The proposed reforms also highlight the need for greater clarification of the phrase "reasonable management action" in relation to stress claims, and provisions and penalties relating to discrimination by an employer have been expanded.
Where an employer has engaged in such discrimination both civil and criminal remedies will be available, and reinstatement can be ordered.