NT WorkSafe has announced that the COVID-19 virus is likely to be considered under the disease provisions of the state’s Return to Work Act 1986, and could be compensable if it is contracted out of, or in the course of, a worker’s employment.
But NT WorkSafe does not make liability decisions on claims. These are made by approved insurers that “need to be satisfied” the employer is liable.
“As a result, it may be difficult to determine that employment was the real, proximate or effective cause of the worker contracting the virus,” the regulator notes.
“However, where a worker’s employment puts them at greater risk of contracting the virus, the significant contribution test may be easier to meet. For example, if the employment involves:
- travel to an area with a known viral outbreak; or
- activities that include engagement or interaction with people who have contracted the virus (e.g. health workers).
“Each claim would need to be considered on its individual merits, taking into account individual circumstances and evidence,” it stated.