- Scheme’s $1.87 billion surplus should be used to improve benefits
- Injured workers’ mental health affected by covert surveillance
- Disputes riddled with delays causing havoc on workers’ lives
Unions NSW is reiterating calls for the NSW workers compensation scheme to be scrapped and replaced with one based on our 12 principles of workers compensation reform after a parliamentary review found the system to be ‘dysfunctional’ but failed to address union concerns.
The first review of the workers compensation scheme by the Standing Committee on Law and Justice highlights many of the issues raised by union members including the behaviour of insurers, the lack of attention to the health needs of injured workers and the issues of accountability of the insurers and government agencies.
“The recommendations of this review, however, do nothing to address the human suffering the workers compensation system is inflicting on some of society’s most vulnerable people,” Unions NSW Secretary Mark Morey said.
While 25 of the 26 recommendations by the Committee are supported by Unions NSW, they represent a minimalist approach to redressing the inherent failings of the system.
“At the end of this year 5000 sick and injured workers will be cut off from income support. This review does nothing to give these people desperately needed support and is further evidence of the government’s callous attitude to injured workers.
“It also fails to encourage insurers and employers to provide meaningful work, which is the most important thing we can do to help sick and injured put their life back together.
“Suicidal thoughts are highly prevalent among people on workers compensation. The government has turned a blind eye to this burning problem."
A brief analysis of the review can be found here.