PREMIUMS for the state’s bloated WorkCover scheme will have to rise 28 per cent to bring it back into the black, an increase that will cost more than 12,500 jobs, reports the Telegraph. This article also covers the planned axes such as journey claims and coverage for relatives of dead injured workers…
Workcover NSW reforms will cost more than 12500 jobs!
The parliamentary inquiry into the program, which is $4 billion in debt, begins today and business groups are expected to support some of the government’s contentious reform proposals, designed to keep jobs in NSW.
Premiums paid by NSW employers are already between 20 and 60 per cent higher than in other states.
The government wants to axe coverage for “journey claims”, meaning if you are injured on your way to or from work, your employer is no longer liable, saving up to $100 million a year.
The government’s submission also suggests axing the coverage for relatives of dead or injured workers suffering “nervous shock” and capping weekly payments in line with other states.
In Victoria, payments are generally capped at 130 weeks, Queensland has a cap of five years or $200,000 and Western Australia stops payments after a person claims over $190,000.
“The NSW business community supports the proposed changes put forward by the government. The current proposals for reform of the scheme are anticipated to have a positive impact on the scheme’s finances, and will focus support for the most seriously injured, where the community expects it should be focused,” NSW Business Chamber CEO Stephen Cartwright said.
But while Mr Cartwright supports the government’s changes he said they don’t go far enough and are not “sufficient in themselves to bring about a sustainable and fully funded scheme”.
Unions NSW yesterday unveiled a campaign against the proposed cuts and announced a rally at Parliament House on June 13. In their submission to the inquiry, they claim the government is vastly inflating the deficit and there is no evidence of the movement of business interstate.