WorkCover SA to be revamped

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The SA Government has introduced legislation to overhaul its workers’ compensation scheme, stopping payments to moderately (read non-seriously!) injured workers after two years and establishing a tribunal to hear disputes quickly. As posted in an earlier article, The SA WorkCover Corporation will be renamed the Return to Work Corporation, and will serve as regulator and insurer. The scheme could take effect next July 1.

WorkCover SA to be revamped

South Australia revamps WorkCover

Inurancenews |11 August 2014

The SA Government has introduced legislation to overhaul its workers’ compensation scheme, stopping payments to moderately injured workers after two years and establishing a tribunal to hear disputes quickly.

Deputy Premier John Rau, launching the reform bill last week, told Parliament the state has the worst return-to-work outcomes in the country “and for many, the services provided to them do not support early and effective recovery and return to work”.

SA’s average WorkCover rate is the highest in Australia at 2.75% of wages, compared with 1.2% in Queensland, 1.47% in NSW and 1.27% in Victoria.

Mr Rau says the new scheme should have a break-even rate below 2%. It will increase early intervention and support for retraining and job searches.

There will be strengthened obligations on employers to provide work, and injured workers will be able to seek, if needed, an order from the SA employment tribunal to obtain employment with their pre-injury employer.”

Medical certificates will have to explain what an injured worker can do, rather than what they cannot.

Seriously injured workers will receive income maintenance until retirement age and lifetime care and support, while non-seriously injured people will get benefits for up to two years and medical expenses for a further year.

Beneficiaries will be paid full notional weekly earnings for a year, then 80%. And if someone can return to work but does not, their payments can be cut.

The seriously injured will have access to common law damages against their employer.

Psychiatric injury claims will be accepted if employment is the significant contributing cause, but there are exclusions.

The WorkCover Corporation will be renamed the Return to Work Corporation, and will serve as regulator and insurer. The scheme could take effect next July 1.

[Source: http://www.insurancenews.com.au/regulatory-government/south-australia-revamps-workcover]

 



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