SA workers’ compensation revisions remain concerning
25th Aug 2021
Revisions to the South Australian workers’ compensation Impairment Assessment Guidelines gazetted yesterday are an improvement on the changes originally proposed, but lawyers remain concerned that some changes were made despite strong objections.
“The changes that have been made will have a big impact on injured workers’ entitlement to compensation but it will take time for us to fully understand the extent of the changes and their impact,” said Ms Sarah Vinall, State President, Australian Lawyers Alliance.
“We are pleased that a number of our concerns have been addressed for example, we are pleased to see that the automatic 10 per cent adjustment for a pre-existing injury has been removed. However, we remain very worried that some of the revisions will substantially reduce the compensation offered to workers who are injured at work.
“We are also disappointed that these changes were rushed through via a back-door method that avoided parliamentary review and debate. We asked for further information and medical information to support the proposed changes but this was never provided.
“The changes were made by revising the Minister’s guidelines known as the Impairment Assessment Guidelines which was a sneaky way to modify the Return to Work Act 2014 without the involvement of Parliament.
“We need to remember that we are dealing with individuals who have been injured while working to support themselves and their families. Sometimes these injuries can have long term and serious consequences for families. Our priority must always be to ensure that anyone who is injured at work receives the support they need so they can look after themselves and their families.”