The Western Australia government has introduced a Bill to ensure the families of people who are killed at work receive fair, reasonable, and timely compensation.
The Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 will be amended to significantly increase the lump sum payable to dependant partners and more than double the child’s allowance payable to each dependent child.
The Bill increases the lump sum from $308,339 to $562,303 indexed annually; this new lump sum is 250 percent of the maximum compensation payable for a non-fatal injury.
Commerce and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston said the McGowan Government is committed to ensuring the State industrial relations system is modernised. He said the Bill will ensure dependants receive fair compensation.
“There are about 20 traumatic work-related fatalities each year in Western Australia. This has a significant impact on family members, especially for those who are financially dependent on a loved one that tragically dies at work.
“Dependent partners are already faced with the grief and loss of a loved one and should not be financially penalised in the compensation system because they also work.”
De facto partners of workers will be given the same access to compensation as married spouses by removing outdated and discriminatory definitions, under the changes.
Partners of deceased workers will no longer be required to prove their exact financial level of dependency or have their entitlement significantly reduced because they make a modest income.
Other changes will see the allowance paid to each dependant child increased from $58.90 a week to $133 a week also indexed annually.
As children will also receive a portion of the lump sum, the Bill gives far greater financial support for the care and maintenance of children than ever before.