The A to Z Glossary of Legal Terms for Compensation Law
No matter what area of the law you’re dealing with, there will always be some words that simply make no sense unless you’ve studied law at university for years. To help you understand common terms used in compensation law, we’ve put together this comprehensive glossary of legal terms to help.
As an alternative to a court action, to abate is to reduce or put a stop to a lawsuit or class action.
Abuse of process
To misuse proceedings – e.g. inciting lengthy delays which can disadvantage one party.
Accident insurance policy
A policy taken out to cover an employer’s liability for damages and compensation that may occur from any work-related injury by an employee.
To find one party not guilty after going to trial.
Presenting evidence in court.
To delay a court hearing to a time specified in the future.
Evidence provided for a court case through a written document that is sworn on oath.
When a pre-existing condition is reignited or made worse.
Something not yet proved yet stated to be true.
Alternative dispute resolution
When alternative methods such as mediation, negotiation, arbitration, or conciliation are used to resolve a dispute.
To ask for a review of a decision from a lower court by a higher court.
A less formal process than a court hearing that is used to resolve disputes.
Any payments that are owing or made past their due date.
Any disease confirmed to be caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibres.
Average premium rate
The average of net premium wages as a portion of total wages. This figure is given as a percentage.
When one side is favoured over another side in a dispute.
Breach of contract
When a person fails to perform the activities agreed within the terms of a contract.
The core function of a business as seen by its primary offering.
A warning or notice to beware of certain conditions that can affect the outcome.
Certificate of Currency
Documentation to confirm the Accident Insurance Policy of an employer is current.
Code of practice
Guidelines that exists for the fair trade and fair practice of industries and professions.
The process of a Magistrate Court hearing evidence to decide whether a trial for the accused is required.
Common law claim
A direct claim by an employee against their employer, through a common law action, to recover damages for financial loss, pain, legal costs or medical and hospital costs.
Common law damages
Payments made under a common law claim. For employee related injuries, these are compensations paid as general damages (pain and suffering) or financial loss (for past earnings and future expected earnings).
Community Treatment Order
An order for a medical practitioner to treat an involuntary patient in the community.
Conflict of interest
When the interest of one party corruptly affects how they perform a duty to another.
The engagement between an employee and one employer for a wage or salary, with set working hours and supervision. The employer has the right to discipline or dismiss the employee from the contract of service under certain conditions.
Evidence from another independent party that supports the main evidence.
Payments made under common law.
The application form required when employees seek damages where they have not received a lump sum payment.
When an injured employee proceeds with a common law action against their employer for negligence.
Declaration of wages form
The documentation required to assess wage information of an employee.
Dangerous Electrical Event
False, misleading or derogatory statements made about another person without lawful justification, that appear in publication, the press, electronically, or by word of mouth.
To fail in something that was due or meant to happen.
When insufficient information has been provided to WorkCover by the employer, a default assessment will be made based on calculations WorkCover believe to be adequate cover. Employers have 15 days to object to the default assessment.
When a lower ranked person is able to make decisions on the behalf of the person or organisation.
Any family member of an injured/deceased employee reliant (dependent) upon the earnings of the injured/deceased. This can include partial or total financial dependency.
Upon settlement of a claim, an injured employee signs a discharge to release all parties from further liability. This discharge is to release employers, other parties involved, and WorkCover.
Choosing or not choosing to do something, for instance if it is at your discretion to lodge or investigate a complaint.
Department of Justice and Attorney-General.
The steps taken to avoid committing an offence based on the corporate responsibilities of officers.
When pressure is applied to force another party into either doing something or stopping them from doing something.
When an injured employee and their doctor decide on the chosen hospitalisation for treatment or a procedure for a work-related injury.
A contractor, director, trustee, partner, or self-employed persons who are not direct employees and are remunerated for work or services provided.
Payment from the employer to an injured employee for the first weekly compensation not covered as part of the claims policy.
Documentation to state the date by which a premium amount must be paid.
The body that states it does or intends to hire employees. For example, a sole trader, partnership or corporation.
Use of an agreement to ensure people obey contracts, terms or law.
Inducing someone else to commit an offence.
ESO – Electrical Safety Officer
The body that develops and enforces electrical safety standards and performance for the wider community. Their charter is to maintain socially responsible and safe electrical industry codes of practice.
A force of law that prevents a person from denying what they have previously stated.
A figure calculated to estimate the next financial years wages based on earnings for the last financial year. Generally used by WorkCover when calculating premiums.
Information or any content that is used to prove or disprove facts and truth.
Elevating Work Platform
Experience based rating
A calculation used for an Accident Insurance Policy that uses an employer’s wage and claims experience against that of the industry to determine their premium.
A factor used to help calculate the cost of injury per year.
Falling object protective structure
An act that is dishonest and intentionally aims to deceive.
Freedom of information
The protected right for everyone to access government information, unless stated by law.
Goods and services tax (GST)
A tax that is payable on the premium and is eligible to be claimed as an input tax credit. GST is not applicable to weekly compensation payments.
The systems and process used to settle disputes with employees.
Health & safety representative
An appointed employee elected to represent the wider group on health and safety matters.
Any medical or allied provider of health services registered by a professional board.
The admission of an involuntary patient to a mental hospital via a court order.
An alternative employer who ‘hosts’ and injured employee, usually for three to six weeks, when their original employer cannot allow them to participate in rehabilitation at their workplace.
High risk worth
Health and safety committee
Health and safety representative
Terms not required to be stated in a contract as they are automatically included through legislation.
In place of; instead of. For example, the agreement to offer time off in lieu of salary.
Evidence unable to be used in a court action.
The compensation given for a wrong or loss suffered as a direct result of another.
Hearing loss caused by excessive noise in the workplace.
Any disease with a definite link to an industry or result from a type of work.
An agreement or award that directs the employee’s employment conditions.
A classification assigned to a business across an industry, based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification.
The premium per $100 of wages assigned to a WorkCover Industry Classification.
Once a procedure has been explained in detail and one party decides to proceed, knowing they had the choice to refuse.
When a person injures himself or herself in the course of employment, or when the course of employment is a significant factor contributing to the injury.
Input tax credit
The GST amount that a business can claim back.
When working in another state, an employee may be entitled to special compensation if injured.
The inability to overcome difference between parties over the long-term.
The decision by an employee to accept a statutory lump sum compensation or make a common law claim against an employer when they have a work-related impairment of less than 20%. This decision is irrevocable.
Each health provider has a unique item number for health services that corresponds to a fee payable for the service.
Compensation entitlements when an injury is sustained on the way to or from work.
Enforceable by law.
Legal Services Commission
An independent statutory body to handle disputes and complaints regarding the conduct of legal professionals, including solicitors, barristers, and law practice employees.
To owe another under legal responsibility.
Long stop limitation period
A 12 year period exists for personal injury cases from the time the injury or death to the time of court proceedings for damages.
Lump sum compensation
A lump sum entitlement is paid when an employee sustains permanent injury as a result of a work related injury.
Information and facts that are relevant or may influence decision making.
A method to resolve disputes using the services of an impartial third party to assist negotiations.
Medical assessment tribunals
A format for the independent assessment of worker’s compensation claims made by the employee or their authorised representative. This tribunal is run by the Workers’ Compensation Regulator.
False or misleading statements that are intentional or unintentional.
Injury or disease to the musculoskeletal system, excluding crushing and entrapment from plant and machinery operations
A lack of duty of care causing injury, loss, or damage to another person.
The small amount awarded when no damage has occurred yet a right has been affected.
When treated in hospital for life-threatening injuries, or emergency hospitalisation for serious damage or loss to a limb or organ.
Normal weekly earnings
Earnings from ongoing or intermittent employment for the 12 months prior to sustaining an injury.
Notice of assessment
WorkCover documents issues following assessment of permanent injury or impairment to an employee from a work-related injury.
Notice of Claim for Damages
Documentation required prior to court proceeding for damages.
A representative person who makes decisions of responsibility and financial standing on behalf of a corporation.
Over a period of time
Persons conducting a business or undertaking
Participative Ergonomics for Manual Tasks
For patients unable to provide informed consent, a person is designated to make medical treatment decisions on their behalf.
Any impairment or loss that is unlikely to improve with medical or surgical intervention – whether psychological, physiological or anatomical.
Provisional improvement notice
The person with the WorkCover insurance policy in their name.
Power of attorney
A document of legal standing that gives power to one person to represent another and act on their behalf in specified circumstances.
Personal protective equipment
The financial amount payable by WorkCover policyholders whether new, renewed, or re-assessed.
The rate decided on as the premium for a financial year based on wages, claims, business size, and industry rates.
Principal place of employment
The state or territory where the main business of the employer is situated.
Professional indemnity insurance
Insurance cover to protect a person for negligence as a direct result of their professional duties.
Everything within reason was done for health and safety.
The potential claim for compensation for an injury that occurred to an employee while on lunch or a break and away from their place of employment.
All health service providers registered with a relevant professional board.
Regulations / rules
By the authority of an Act of Parliament, laws that are introduced by government departments and statutory bodies are given approval.
The process of treatment to assist the employee to return to work as quickly as possible, and restore the ability to resume duties either full or part time.
The person employed on behalf of the employer to establish co-ordinated care strategies between injured employees, health professionals, providers, and WorkCover.
Usually health care professionals. The person assigned to assist in the injured employee’s recovery from injury.
When legislation or regulations are cancelled.
WorkCover instigated test to determine ‘worker’ status.
A decision made to apply results or circumstances to the date prior to it coming into effect.
Roll-over protective structure
Registered Training Organisations
Safety data sheets
Serious electrical incident
Some employers hold a license to manage their companies’ workers compensation needs.
Significant contributing factor
A determinant to identify if the employment itself has been a significant causal factor for the injury.
A calculation to determine the premium rate for a policy based on the previous claims history.
Expenses that are incurred and easy to determine precisely, e.g. medical costs.
When what was stated in the contract has been performed exactly as required.
Stable and stationary
A term used to describe a condition that is not likely to improve with further medical or surgical treatment or care. It has reached its optimal outcomes expectation.
A payment made to the relevant government on property and business transactions, including the insurance premiums for workers’ compensation.
The situation as it is.
Also known as a ‘no-fault’ claim. When compensation is paid that is neither the worker or the employer’s fault. These can include weekly or lump sum payments, and cover hospital and medical expenses
As defined by the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003, it includes weekly or lump sum payments and/or covers medical and hospital expenses.
The evidence necessary to prove something occurred.
With business acquisitions the premium rate will be assigned by calculating the five year history of wages and claims from the proceeding employer.
Suitable duties program
A deliberate program of return-to-work assistance and supervision to help employees get back to work with suitable duties.
Safe work method statements
Tax equivalents regime
The National Tax Equivalents Regime enforces tax payments by WorkCover equivalent to any other registered corporation.
When a health professional uses his or her right not to divulge information that they believe can harm the patient.
When a party that is disabled, in a contract or transaction, is taken unfair advantage of.
Vocational education and training
Has no legal effect.
An independent review of employer payroll records to ensure accurate declaration of wages to WorkCover.
The payment by an employer to employees.
To release legal right or claim.
Workplace Health and Safety
An independent person who is able to provide information to support facts.
A lump sum compensation payment from a work related injury.
Any employee injured where employment was a significant causal factor.
WorkCover Industry Classification
Each business is given a classification based on the industry category they operate in as defined by the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification.
An individual employed full time or part time under a contract of service.
Work related Impairment