ON 16 MAY 2014, the High Court of Australia delivered ADCO Constructions Pty Ltd v Goudappel  HCA 18 (16 May 2014).
The Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2012 extinguished injured workers entitlements to permanent impairment compensation under the Workers Compensation Act 1987 in claims where the permanent impairment does not exceed 10 percent. The Act preserved these entitlements for workers who made a claim for permanent impairment compensation before 19 June 2012. A transitional regulation made under the Act extended the disentitlement to claims brought before 19 June except for those in which permanent impairment compensation was “specifically sought”.
The worker in this case had brought a compensation claim before 19 June 2012, but permanent impairment compensation was not specifically sought until 20 June. The worker’s permanent impairment did not exceed 10 percent.
The Court of Appeal had found that the regulation was not valid and did not extinguish the worker’s entitlement to permanent impairment compensation.
Overturning the Court of Appeal decision, the High Court ruled that the regulation was valid and the worker was not entitled to permanent impairment compensation as because such compensation was not specifically sought before 19 June 2012.
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