Lawyers meet minister to discuss proposed WorkCover changes

28th Mar 2012

Representatives of the legal profession including, The Australian Lawyers Alliance, The NSW Bar Association and The NSW Law Society, met with Finance Minister, Greg Pearce, today, to discuss proposed changes to Workers Compensation and Motor Accident compensation schemes.

“The meeting was constructive and the Minister was pressed to reintroduce commutations to reduce the workers compensation tail, which is the root cause of the financial blow out,” ALA NSW President, Jnana Gumbert said.

“By agreeing to lump sum payments, greater certainty is created both for the injured worker and for NSW WorkCover’s financial commitments,” she added.

An independent review of the Motor Accidents Authority “Green Slip” insurance was also urged, to deal with the continuing insurer “super” profits.

“You can’t have an unjust threshold for compensation which is arbitrary and capricious and which leaves 90% of injured people without damages for pain and suffering,” Ms Gumbert said.

NSW Minister for Finance and Services, Greg Pearce, also discussed workers’ compensation issues at the Australian Lawyers Alliance State Conference at Terrigal, last Friday.

In his address, Mr Pearce referred to the need for the NSW workers' compensation scheme to be "fair and efficient" but identified the need for "better management" of the scheme. He also discussed “a compelling case to address systemic problems in the design of the NSW workers' compensation scheme".

Premier Barry O'Farrell, two days ago, announced that changes must be made to the WorkCover scheme because of massive cost blowouts.

It will be another month before the reforms are announced. The ALA, NSW Bar Association and The NSW Law Society all stand ready to assist the government with its reforms through consultation.

Tags: NSW Workers' rights WorkCover Workers compensation Transport accidents