NSW changes tune on workers comp
Some workers compensation benefits in NSW will be restored, WorkCover NSW split up and the Dust Diseases Board changed in proposals announced by the NSW Coalition government.
The changes are part the NSW Workers Compensation Amendment Bill 2015 and the State Insurance and Care Governance Bill 2015.
The NSW Government is restoring some of the workers compensation benefits removed in 2012, now that the scheme is in the black.
Changes to medical benefits payments are among amendments. For those with up to 10 per cent permanent impairment, medical benefits will be provided for two years from when weekly payments stop (or from the date of injury if no weekly payments were made). Those with 11 to 20 per cent impairment will receive benefits for five years from when weekly payments stop (or from the date of injury if no weekly payments were made). Those with 20 per cent impairment will receive benefits for life.
Among other changes, workers’ weekly payments will be paid for up to 12 months past retirement age.
Employers’ workers compensation premiums will also be discounted by between 5 and 20 per cent for employers who maintain safe work places and help injured employees return to work.
The reforms also see WorkCover NSW split into three entities: SafeWork NSW will be the work health and safety regulator; Insurance & Care NSW (icare) will deliver insurance and care services; and the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) will oversee all state insurance schemes.
Also, the Dust Diseases Board will become the Dust Diseases Authority. “As part of the broader insurance reform package, the Dust Diseases Board will become the Dust Diseases Authority, with all existing functions, expertise and staff retained,” said Dominic Perrottet, NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property, in a media release.
“The Board of the Dust Diseases Board will become an Advisory Committee, providing expert advice to the new Insurance and Care entity.”
Published on 13 August 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter