From March 31st 2024, changes to the Victorian WorkCover Laws were introduced. They have been made under the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment to modernise the scheme. This has come about due to the scheme being referred to as “fundamentally broken”. It was no longer meeting the needs of those whom it was originally designed for over 30 years ago.

In 2023/2024 Victorian employers experienced a rise of 42% in their WorkCover Premiums which increased from 1.27% to 1.8%. WorkSafe has announced the rate for 2024/2025 will not see any increases and will remain at 1.8%.

Individual businesses will continue to expect changes to their premium rate as they are based on specific experiences within their respective industry. However, employers who are experiencing a significant increase in their industry could find their premiums increasing by up to 30% in 2024/2025.


What changes have been made?


Mental Injury Eligibility

Mental Injury claims in comparison to Physical Injury claims have proven to be more expensive. This is due to workers suffering from Mental Injuries generally remain off work for longer periods of time. It’s said by the year 2030, we can expect a third of all claims will be related to mental injuries. In order for WorkSafe to combat these existing challenges, changes in eligibility requirements have been outlined and will apply to any mental injuries sustained on or after 31 March 2024.

A new mental injury definition has been put in place. In order to be eligible for compensation, the following definition must be met. “A mental injury is defined as an injury that causes significant behavioural, cognitive or psychological dysfunction, and has been diagnosed by a medical practitioner in accordance with the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.”

Along with the modernisation of the scheme, new exclusions for stress and burnout have been outlined.


Ineligible Compensation

Workers will be ineligible to receive compensation if the cause of stress or burnout is one or more of the following:

Typically, the above reasons will be considered as:


Exemptions to Eligibility

Workers may remain eligible for compensation and an exemption of this rule will apply if they are exposed to situations including:

If you are seeking further information on Mental Injury eligibility, download the information sheet here.


Second Entitlement Review


130 Week – Additional Whole Person Impairment Requirements

Previously, as workers approached their 130 weeks of weekly paid compensation, they would need to review their claim. Reviewing the claim would then determine if payments would be extended past the original 130 weeks. Generally, the final outcome would result in the termination of future payments.

To continue to receive weekly payments once 130 weeks have been exceeded, an additional requirement has been implemented, which includes:

The WPI requirement will only apply to claims that reached 130 weeks on, or after 31 March 2024. From this date for weekly compensation to continue to be paid post 130 weeks, it must additionally be determined by an independent medical examiner that a worker has a whole person impairment as a result of their injury or injuries from the same event of 21% or more.

For further information on whole-person impairment, download the information sheet here.


Further supported changes

 To improve the way the WorkCover scheme operates, a number of supporting changes have also been made and make sure the changes in the Scheme Modernisation Act are effective. These include:

 The implemented changes are set to deliver a more sustainable scheme to ensure Victorian workers are supported well into the future.


If you need assistance with navigating your business through these changes or are seeking any further business advice, contact The Hrkac Group Geelong-based Accounting team. You can make an appointment via email or phone (03) 5224 2366.


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