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29.1 Actions against the Commonwealth
Employees are prevented by S4 — 4 of the SRCA from suing the Commonwealth in lieu of claiming workers compensation for post-1988 injuries. Note that other Commonwealth employees are also protected from legal actions by S4 — 4 unless acting illegally or not in accordance with their contract of employment.
The issue of instituting an action under S4 — 5 (i.e. a restricted action in lieu of acceptance of a permanent impairment lump sum) is discussed in full at Chapter 80 of the Permanent Impairment Handbook.
Under the 1971 and 1930 Acts, employees were free to sue the Commonwealth, but such an action, where successful, removed that employee's liability to receive workers compensation. However, note also, that those actions had to be complete or actually in progress on 1 December 1988 to be valid, i.e. after that date such an action, even though it is in relation to an injury under an earlier Act, is caught and prevented by S4 — 4 of the SRCA.