Media Release

INJURED WORKERS AND BUSINESSES THE WINNERS AS WORKERS COMPENSATION LAWS PASS

Media Release | Thursday, 13 August 2015

NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property Dominic Perrottet today welcomed the passage through Parliament of the Workers Compensation Amendment Bill 2015 and the State Insurance and Care Governance Bill 2015.

“Today is a win for both injured workers and businesses across NSW,” said Mr Perrottet. “Key elements of this package have been welcomed by a number of stakeholders, including the AMA, the NSW Business Chamber, the Law Society and the Bernie Banton Foundation.”

“It’s clear we have struck the right balance between the needs of injured workers and the businesses that support the scheme.”

The Bills will see $1 billion worth of enhanced benefits passed on to injured workers and employers and structural reform of the workers compensation system. At the last election, the Baird-Grant Government committed that every dollar above the minimum surplus needed to keep the scheme sustainable would be returned to injured workers and business in a two third, one third split.

“Today we are keeping our election promise and this is only made possible by a scheme in surplus,” said Mr Perrottet. “You cannot have a fair scheme without having a financially sustainable scheme. Our system has a social heart and a commercial mind.”

Under the benefit enhancements, injured workers will now have access to further assistance to get back to work or to continue their lives with dignity. Extended medical assistance, access to aids and prosthetics now provided for life and new education support will see every injured worker in the system benefit.

Businesses with good safety and return to work performance records will also be rewarded with substantial performance discounts.

Under the structural reforms, three discrete agencies will be created to better manage and deliver insurance services, ending the inherent conflict of interest issue previously raised by numerous stakeholders and at Parliamentary inquiries.

“The Government recognises while this is an important day, there is still more work to do,” said Mr Perrottet. “The next step in the evolution of the workers compensation system will be consultation on the regulation of legal costs. The Government will be in touch with stakeholders in coming weeks to determine the best way forward.

“I want to thank everyone who provided input into these reforms and look forward to continuing this positive engagement as we create a fair, sustainable and customer focused workers compensation system,” Mr Perrottet said.

For further information go to http://insurancereforms.nsw.gov.au/.