WA ends age discrimination in workers compensation laws

Western Australia abolishes age-based discrimination in the state’s workers compensation law

October 14, 2011

Western Australia has abolished age-based discrimination in the state’s workers compensation law, meaning employees will be entitled to compensation regardless of their age.

Amendments to the Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act took effect on October 1, ending the previous scheme that limited the entitlements of injured workers aged 64 or more.

Commerce Minister Simon O’Brien says discrimination on the basis of age had no place on both equity and economic grounds.

"Workers aged 64 and older have always been entitled to workers compensation, but until now were only entitled to a maximum of 12 months of weekly income payments. That time limit has been scrapped," he says.

"The other significant change is that workers who suffer work-related hearing loss after the age of 65 years will now be able to make a workers compensation claim on the same basis as everybody else."

O’Brien says the changes promote equity in the workplace and give people the opportunity to continue working past 65.

"The state has an ageing workforce, low unemployment and a need to maintain skilled and experienced people. We want to encourage older workers to remain at work and the state’s workers compensation scheme should support this," he says.

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