Return to Work Inquiry
Workers and their unions have been campaigning against the cuts for 4 years now and the campaign is having an impact.
Since the cuts to workers compensation in June 2012, Unions NSW and the workers compensation campaign have won a number of significant changes including:
- Doubling the medical cap to two years (up from one year);
- Reducing the threshold for serious injury by one-third (from 30% WPI to 20% WPI);
- Re-introducing a form of free legal representation for some claims (ILARS); and
- Separating the conflicted insurance and regulatory functions of WorkCover (iCare and SIRA).
Much of the Government rhetoric to justify the workers compensation cuts has been that they encourage return to work, yet there have been few substantive improvements to return to work provisions. One of the few changes was the introduction of “return work assistance” in August 2015, which is only available to a small number of injured workers who have been injured for nearly one and a half years.
In order to highlight the problems with the return to work system Unions NSW conducted a Return to Work Inquiry to collect real world experiences of workers to present them to the Law and Justice Committee, which is commencing a review of workers compensation laws in NSW Parliament.
All of the stories that you submitted to the Return to Work Inquiry have been included in our submission to the Committee. Here’s a copy of our submission and all the stories (de-identified).
Email Us if you would like us to report at your delegates meeting or community group about the importance of changing the workers compensation laws so we have a fairer system for NSW injured workers.