Workers comp should go beyond age 65: Shorten


Most people will prepare to work until retirement. Even then, we are encouraged to be productive and work longer than the retirement age, if possible. What happens if your injured at work?

If your over the workcover retirement age? Australia’s Workcover insurance system doesn’t cover workers over the age of 60 years. The system puts the aged worker out to an early retirement if seriously hurt. Depending entirely on Medicare, (superannuation?), family or private insurance for financial and medical cover for a work related injury. All employees regardless their age should be covered by Workcover. A 60 year old and a 30 year old can be performing the same workplace duty. Both can be hurt in the same accident, acquire the same injuries. Only one can claim Workcover due to their age. Is that not age discrimination? Bill Shorten discusses this issue of workers compensation and age.

Workers comp should go beyond age 65: Shorten

25 January 2013

Workers compensation payments should continue for workers past the age of 65, Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten believes.

Shorten said it is ‘long overdue’ for governments and insurers to change the rule that sees compo payments cut out at the old retirement age.

Shorten was responding on Tas radio to a man who said that his wife had an accident in the workplace about 18 months ago, in which she fractured her hip and went on workers compensation payments.

In December last year, she was contacted by her employer’s superannuation company to tell her that because she was turning 65 on 11 December they would be no longer covering her wages as part of the workers compensation.

‘Makes me angry’

‘It turns out that once you turn 65 there is no obligation on the part of the insurance companies to have to continue to pay the wages,’ the man said.

‘That story does make me angry,’ Shorten said.

‘Currently, workers compensation laws don’t extend [past] 65.’

‘It’s based on an outmoded view that somehow older workers are a greater economic or insurance risk, even though they’re still working.’

‘It is long overdue for governments and for insurers to change the rules and to lift it beyond 65 because I think it’s a loophole which ignores the fact we’re living longer and have to work longer.’


2 Responses to “Workers comp should go beyond age 65: Shorten”

  1. Good old discrimination, the tool of insurer’s everywhere. Even most superannuation disability payments cut out at the age of 60. Mine did. There’s no accounting for all this discrimination other than as a route to greater profits. It certainly isn’t fair or just! What all this says about the dispensibility of injured and aging workers is just plain scary. Is that all we’re worth in this life?

  2. what a joke, there are so many loopholes in this system, most injured workers are lucky to  live till 65, with workcover just ignoring peoples rights to live day to day and to have injuries treated.