Workers comp reform process agreed upon

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Workers comp reform process agreed upon

The NSW Workers Compensation Advisory Council agreed on Monday on a process for reform of the State’s workers compensation system.

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The NSW Workers Compensation Advisory Council agreed on Monday on a process for reform of the State’s workers compensation system.

Key elements of the agreement are:

  • transfer of the fund risk from the government to the private sector from 1 October 1999;
  • maintenance of premiums at a maximum of 2.8% of salaries for the next financial year, and if necessary, to 1 October 2000;
  • establishment of a permanent Advisory Council and Industry Reference Group comprising of employer and employee representatives (the intention being to give control of the scheme to the primary stakeholders);
  • scheme costs to be reduced through integrated injury management programs to encourage earlier return to work by injured workers. This includes early reporting of injuries, intervention by insurers to ensure effective rehabilitation and return to work and stronger obligations for treating doctors; and
  • enhanced dispute resolution, including an expansion of the Workers Compensation Resolution Service.

In its report to the Minister, the Council requested that the Government quickly draft legislation to be introduced into the current session of Parliament.

The Council recommended that the changes be embodied in a new Act to be called the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act (1998).

 

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