Should New South Wales WorkCover be Changed?
There is one thing almost all parties involved in the current debate on proposed changes to the New South Wales workers compensation scheme can agree on: the system is in desperate need of reform.
Beyond that, however, much is in dispute. On one hand, employer groups and the state government say that many of the proposed changes in an issues paper set to be debated in a parliamentary inquiry this week are needed and sensible. Unions, on the other hand, say they represent an attack on society’s most vulnerable people.
Key measures in the paper include:
- Caps on the duration for weekly compensation payments and medical expenses – weekly compensation payments, for instance, would be limited to two and a half years.
- Shorter ‘step down’ timeframes which see weekly compensation payments gradually reduced after specified time periods.
- Eliminating compensation for injuries which occur in circumstances beyond the employer’s control, such as injuries which occur while employees commute to and from work and strokes/heart attacks for which work was not a significant contributing factor....