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The ‘reasonable management action’ exception in workers’ compensation claims in Tasmania: an analysis of published decisions

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Rundle, O ORCID: 0000-0002-1297-9688, Woods, M ORCID: 0000-0002-6462-7692 and Michaelson, L 2019 , 'The ‘reasonable management action’ exception in workers’ compensation claims in Tasmania: an analysis of published decisions' , University of Tasmania Law Review, vol. 38, no. 2 , pp. 60-87 .

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Abstract

Workers who suffer a work-related psychological injury are generally entitledto claim no-fault workers’ compensation, except where an injury wassubstantially caused by ‘reasonable management action.’ Workers shouldexpect to be safe from psychological injury at work. Employers want to be ableto effectively manage both their employees and the risk that managerial actioncould cause an employee distress. The exception protects employers from acategory of claims for workers’ compensation, thereby reducing the financialrisks of workplace management that causes psychological injury to workers.However, this means that what ‘reasonable management action’ means iscentral to the determination of a worker’s entitlement to compensation (wheremanagerial action has contributed to their injury). The need to evaluatemanagement behaviour within context and taking into account all of thesurrounding circumstances, makes it difficult to define with certainty. Thisarticle focuses on published Tasmanian cases about ‘reasonable managementaction’ in psychological injury cases, to see how determinations by courts andtribunals have shed light upon the legal meaning of the exceptions. The articleexplains how the published decisions were identified by the authors. It thenexplains what the case law illustrates about actions that are capable of being‘reasonable management action.’ We focus in particular on how multiplecauses of psychological injury are weighed, given that there is rarely a singlecause of a psychological injury, and what decision makers have said whenassessing reasonableness.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Rundle, O and Woods, M and Michaelson, L
Keywords: psychological injury, workers compensation, exceptions, management action
Journal or Publication Title: University of Tasmania Law Review
Publisher: UTAS
ISSN: 0082-2108
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 the authors

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