ALA submits on NSW workers compensation changes
3rd Jun 2014
This week, the Australian Lawyers Alliance NSW Committee provided our submission to the Centre for International Economics in its statutory review of the 2012 NSW workers compensation legislative amendments on behalf of the Office of Finance and Services.
Our submission highlighted the fact that the scheme was in a stable financial position at the time at which radical reductions to workers' rights in NSW were proposed.
We submitted that the solvency position of the scheme may have been approaching full funding by 2021 without the 2012 amendments.
The ALA submitted that the 2012 workers compensation legislative amendments went too far by severely slashing the benefits and entitlements of injured workers and that therefore, some benefits ought to be restored to injured workers in order to ensure that the scheme is "fair, affordable, and financially viable".
We emphasised that the 2012 workers compensation legislative amendments failed to maintain fairness and such imbalance must be urgently redressed.
Thousands of workers stand to be affected, with many long tail claims transitioned out of the scheme. The overwhelming majority of workers making claims under the 2012 amendments will have their entitlement to weekly benefits terminated within only 2.5 years of injury.
Following this time period, workers in NSW will only be able to obtain assistance via Centrelink benefits, via Newstart or the Disability Support Pension: both of which have also come under fire from the Federal budget.
We made 8 leading recommendations for consideration by the CIE.
We look forward to the outcome of the review, and hope that workers in NSW may see a return to support for their rights.