NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has welcomed changes made last week in Parliament to the State’s Workers Compensation Scheme, which will see increased compensation for injured workers and more rewards for businesses with a good safety record.
“The laws passed by parliament last week will see $1 billion worth of enhanced benefits passed on to injured workers and employers, and the structural reform of the workers compensation system,” Mr Marshall said.
“This is a win for injured workers and businesses in the Northern Tablelands and across NSW.
“It’s clear the right balance between the needs of injured workers and the businesses that support the scheme has been struck.”
Mr Marshall said at the March election, the NSW Government committed that every dollar above the minimum surplus needed to keep the scheme sustainable would be returned to injured workers and business in a two third, one third split.
The local MP said he was pleased the government was keeping its election promise and that this was only made possible by a scheme in surplus.
“You cannot have a fair scheme without having a financially sustainable scheme. Our system has a social heart and a commercial mind,” Mr Marshall said.
Under the benefit enhancements, injured workers will now have access to further assistance to get back to work or to continue their lives with dignity. Extended medical assistance, access to aids and prosthetics now provided for life and new education support will see every injured worker in the system benefit.
Businesses with good safety and return to work performance records will also be rewarded with substantial performance discounts.
Under the structural reforms, three discrete agencies will be created to better manage and deliver insurance services, ending the inherent conflict of interest issue previously raised by numerous stakeholders and at Parliamentary inquiries.
“The next step in the evolution of the workers compensation system will be consultation on the regulation of legal costs,” Mr Marshall said. “The Government will be in touch with stakeholders in coming weeks to determine the best way forward.”
For further information about the changes, visit www.insurancereforms.nsw.gov.au/