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


Rundle, O and Woods, M and Michaelson, L, The reasonable management action' exception in workers' compensation claims in Tasmania: an analysis of published decisions, University of Tasmania Law Review, 38, (2) pp. 60-87. ISSN 0082-2108 (2019) [Refereed Article]

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Workers who suffer a work-related psychological injury are generally entitled to claim no-fault workers’ compensation, except where an injury was substantially caused by ‘reasonable management action.’ Workers should expect to be safe from psychological injury at work. Employers want to be able to effectively manage both their employees and the risk that managerial action could cause an employee distress. The exception protects employers from a category of claims for workers’ compensation, thereby reducing the financial risks of workplace management that causes psychological injury to workers. However, this means that what ‘reasonable management action’ means is central to the determination of a worker’s entitlement to compensation (where managerial action has contributed to their injury). The need to evaluate management behaviour within context and taking into account all of the surrounding circumstances, makes it difficult to define with certainty. This article focuses on published Tasmanian cases about ‘reasonable management action’ in psychological injury cases, to see how determinations by courts and tribunals have shed light upon the legal meaning of the exceptions. The article explains how the published decisions were identified by the authors. It then explains what the case law illustrates about actions that are capable of being ‘reasonable management action.’ We focus in particular on how multiple causes of psychological injury are weighed, given that there is rarely a single cause of a psychological injury, and what decision makers have said when assessing reasonableness.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:psychological injury, workers compensation, exceptions, management action
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Commercial law
Research Field:Labour law
Objective Division:Economic Framework
Objective Group:Management and productivity
Objective Field:Industrial relations
UTAS Author:Rundle, O (Dr Olivia Rundle)
UTAS Author:Woods, M (Dr Megan Woods)
UTAS Author:Michaelson, L (Ms Laura Michaelson)
ID Code:141222
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2020-10-05
Last Modified:2022-08-30
Downloads:16 View Download Statistics

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