According to news.com.au, stressed and depressed public servants lodged so many workers’ compensation claims in the past year that they blew a financial hole in Comcare, the national insurance scheme. Oh really! LMAO!
Another grossly biased Comcare article hits the news
Public servants claims hit Comcare for $309 million in year
Stressed and depressed public servants lodged so many workers’ compensation claims in the past year that they blew a financial hole in the national insurance scheme.
Comcare, which pays compensation to Commonwealth and some state public servants for workplace injuries, is blaming a rise in “mental stress” claims for its budget blowout.
“Psychological injury costs continue to rise and the length of time ill and injured people are away from their work has worsened at public sector workplaces,” its annual report says.
The latest data reveals an 11 per cent jump in the cost of compensation payments to public servants during 2012/13 – totalling $309M.
Comcare raised its premiums by 26 per cent during the year – yet still spent more on compo payouts than it charged in premiums, plunging it $98m into the red.
Taxpayers had to spend 1.77 per cent of the public service wage bill on workers’ compo premiums in 2011/12 – up from 1.4 per cent the previous year.
“They key factor in the increased premiums is the higher cost of claims caused by longer periods of time off work,” the report says.
“This is particularly evident in recent injury years.”
Comcare has been forced to contest 72 compensation appeals in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) so far this year.
In a recent case, a Tax Office official demoted for giving the wrong advice to members of the public lodged a compo claim for depression.
The woman told the AAT she had felt like she was being “bullied and harassed” by supervisors who criticised her work.
One of her managers had complained that customers were “becoming irate” because the tax official was not listening or answering their questions.
The AAT ruled that she should not be compensated, because her supervisors had taken “reasonable administrative action” in demoting her.
“The applicant was in a position where she was advising the public of their tax rights and liabilities,” the AAT ruled.
“It was certainly reasonable for the ATO to appraise and monitor her performance, to counsel her where her actions caused conflict and confusion, and reasonable to withdraw a benefit such as the increased pay for higher duties where performance was inadequate.”
The AAT also dismissed a compensation claim from a retired public servant who accused her department of invading her privacy.
The woman, who had previously lodged claims for sexual harassment and discrimination, had accused her bosses of wrongly giving her date of birth, signature, tax file number and citizenship details to Comcare as part of another claim over unfair rostering, verbal abuse and bullying.
But the AAT ruled that the privacy breach had not exacerbated what it described as a “personality disorder”.
… so where is the evidence of all those claims?
Comcare’s annual report reveals the number of claims from public servants fell 12 per cent, to 3881 claims, during 2012/13.
But the payouts jumped 15 per cent to $262m – on top of a 5 per cent increase in medical and rehabilitation costs to $126m and an 11 per cent blowout in legal and administrative expenses to $151m.
The Public Service Commission has revealed, meanwhile, that bureaucrats have been taking more sickies over the past four years.
Public servants each take an average of 12 days a year in sick leave and other “unscheduled absences”, its State of the Service report shows.
Bureaucrats from the departments of Human Services, the Tax Office, Aboriginal Hostels Ltd, Safe Work Australia took the most unscheduled leave, averaging 15 to 19 days a year.
Health Department workers averaged 14 days’ leave.
Kindly shared by co-author Rescape
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