Before 14 May 2020, an Essential Worker who contracted COVID-19 would have had to prove that work was a substantial contributing factor to that disease.
Fortunately, on 14 May 2020, the COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures – Miscellaneous) Bill 2020 was passed by both houses of the New South Wales Parliament to afford protections to essential workers who are at risk of contracting COVID-19 during the course of their employment.
Essentially, the legislation provides that Nurses, Paramedics, Teachers and other essential workers across industries such as health, construction and retail now do not need to prove where they contracted COVID-19 when making a workers compensation claim in NSW. This change will potentially cover hundreds of thousands of workers across the state.
The amendments will enable front-line workers obtain medical treatment and weekly compensation for time off work as a result of COVID-19. For dependents of essential workers who have passed away from COVID-19, they will be entitled to bring a claim for death benefits.
Whilst the amendments appear to make life a lot easier for essential workers who contract COVID-19 at work, an employer will still have the opportunity to prove the infection did not have happen during the course of their employment.
Please contact our experienced, caring and friendly compensation team if you are an essential worker who has contracted COVID-19 during the course of your employment for assistance in lodging a workers compensation claim.
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