Police officers, emergency workers, child safety officers and medical staff are among thousands of government workers who will be protected from being sued for doing their duty.
Legislation passed by Parliament today will see the State Government provide protection to its employees for civil claims made against them when doing their jobs.
Minister Assisting the Premier on the Public Service Glen Elmes said the legislation delivered on an election commitment to review civil protection laws for police on the beat to ensure police could get on with the job of protecting communities.
“No-one who is doing their duty, particularly in the high pressure situations that emergency and hospital staff face every day, should be worrying about being sued,” Mr Elmes said.
“Accidental injury and property damage can happen, and none of us wants to see police officers having to second-guess their legal liability as they try to stop a crime, or paramedics worrying about being sued at an accident scene.”
Mr Elmes said the legislation strengthened the different types of protection offered to government employees including police and emergency workers, nurses and teachers.
“The legislation also covers the thousands of public servants who work at desks or customer service counters, and those who provide advice, care and support to tens of thousands of Queenslanders each day,” he said.
“Giving our employees the protection they need is tangible proof that we, as a government, are serious about creating the best public service in the nation.
“This protection is putting our public service values into action: empowering government employees so they can put their customers first.”
Mr Elmes said the changes included guidelines setting out how government employees could receive indemnities and legal assistance for criminal proceedings, inquiries and investigations related to their work.
“Employees will still need to apply and meet stringent requirements for assistance for criminal proceedings, inquiries and investigations,” he said.
“This ensures that the government is only protecting employees when they should be protected for civil claims and not in situations where they haven’t done the right thing.”