Comcare workcover scheme to be tightened to prevent reckless injured workers claiming for injuries

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The national workers compensation scheme will be tightened under the Abbott government overhaul to prevent reckless workers claiming for injuries caused through their own misconduct….reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

So much for our “no fault workcover system” .. and what about reckless employers?

Comcare workcover scheme to be tightened to prevent reckless injured workers claiming for injuries

Reckless workers hit by Comcare changes

As part of its red tape repeal, the coalition has detailed a series of changes to the Comcare system, including removing restrictions on national companies able to self-insure under the scheme.

But the overhaul also targeted workers the government says “break the rules”, removing access to compensation for those injured as a result of their own “serious and wilful misconduct”.

Leader of the House Christopher Pyne during Question Time.<br /><br /><br /><br />
Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Tabling the changes in parliament, Leader of the House Christopher Pyne said the compensation scheme should not include a “safety net” for workers who put themselves and other employees at risk.

“The Australian public rightly expects that employees should take personal responsibility for their actions,” he said on Wednesday.

In changes likely to provoke the ire of Labor and the unions, Mr Pyne said the government would also tighten compensation for injuries that occur during recess breaks.

Under the current system, claims could be made when a employee was injured out shopping, at a restaurant or playing sport away from work, he said.

The new laws would address this “unfair arrangement”, he said, while still protecting employees injured in the workplace or undertaking activities associated with their employment.

As flagged, the government will also open the Comcare system up to national companies, so they can avoid the duplication of having to deal with the various state-based systems.

There are 30 corporations now self insured under Comcare – including Telstra, Optus and the National Australia Bank – which the government says are benefiting from reduced red tape, costs and bureaucracy.

The Abbott government last year scrapped a 2007 Labor moratorium on new companies joining.

But the further changes would remove a requirement that companies be in competition with a commonwealth or former commonwealth authority to be eligible.

Debate on the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 has been adjourned.

[Source: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/reckless-workers-hit-by-comcare-changes-20140319-351r0.html]

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Trisha
Guest
When I sustained injury at workplace, I was an employee of a self-insured Bank. Became a victim of personal vendetta, as my department head and the WC Ins Mgr were good mates, whose office was stone throw from each other. Fifteen years has passed. Many atrocities has been committed against me by my employer’s self-insured WC Insurance company and their associates. Though settlement was reached, discrimination, bullying, and especially intimidation which was and is most tormenting, continues. Legally this is not permitted. Who is to tell them that. I dread the thought, if more companies are permitted to be self-insured.… Read more »
Barry
Guest
I doubt they have enough connections to influence everyone. Why don’t you choose the treatment providers? They can’t stop you. The only real barrier is if a provider is not registered with the Scheme. When I have had problems in the past I will sometimes pay for the Service and then Claim it back. That takes the control away from them. Why can’t you pursue discrimination, bullying etc? You can’t contract out of a Statuatory entitlement from what I’ve been told (although with Common Law Settlements there must be some Clause but I have never seen one).
Harry
Guest

This begs an interesting question…..has anyone been down the path of pursuing discrimination, bullying, harassment etc because of the treatment they have received???

Workcovervictim3
Guest

@Harry – I am not sure whether you refer to ‘suing’ your case manager / workcover insurance carrier for acting in ‘bad faith‘? You probably have heard about successful claims made in the US and in Canada against workcover insurers for acting in bad faith. The question is are such claims fact or fiction for insurers in Australia? The sad news is Australia does not recognise the tort of acting in bad faith. Further, there is no term implied in a workers compensation insurance contract that the insurer must act in good faith. See: http://aworkcovervictimsdiary.com/2011/10/bad-faith-claim-against-workcover-insurance-company/
and articles under ‘bad faith’

workcovervictim3
Guest
Comcare clamps down on out-of-work injuries Changes to the Australian Public Service workers compensation scheme, Comcare, have been announced to open the scheme up to more private employers and to clamp down on benefits to PS staff injured away from work. Announced by the Government’s Leader of the House of Representatives, Christopher Pyne, the proposed new law would replace the current competition test with a ‘national employer’ test; introduce a streamlined application process; allow for group licences; and extend Federal work health and safety (WHS) law to apply to new self-insurers. Mr Pyne said the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Legislation… Read more »
workcovervictim3
Guest
No workers compensation for public servants injured on breaks away from workplace Public servants injured while taking breaks away from their workplace will no longer be entitled to workers’ compensation payouts, in changes to the Comcare scheme tabled in Parliament yesterday. The amendments will also rule out compensation payments to workers who hurt themselves through their own ”serious and wilful misconduct”, even if it kills them. The changes, which also open up the Comcare scheme to many more private sector players who can now become ”self-insured” under its umbrella, fall short of the sweeping changes recommended by a government-ordered review… Read more »
Paula Pope
Guest

We’ve never had real workers compensation anyway. That’s why so many of us are so messed up. Looks like all the big money boys want a slice of this lucrative trough. There’s big profits to be made in this world from the misery and torture of others.

Bunny
Guest

Oops I meant Paula, not Pauline, sorry

Bunny
Guest
Bye bye Workers Comp. Over the years many of us on this site have advocated a national workers comp system, a few days ago the Abbott government announced that employers working over more than one state could now join Comcare and set up their own coverage under the Federal government. I was pleasantly surprised by this until now. Of course I should have realised that there was a sting in the tail, it is that old ideology back again. Blame the injured worker, make workers responsible for their own injuries, make sure insurance companies profit even more by getting workers… Read more »