Workers compensation in NSW: what's on the way

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Workers compensation in NSW: what's on the way

The next 12 months or so will see a number of significant changes as reforms to the workers compensation system in New South Wales continue to roll out.

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The next 12 months or so will see a number of significant changes as reforms to the workers compensation system in New South Wales continue to roll out.

An indication of what’s coming and when, was provided by Meg Brighton, Communications Manager of WorkCover NSW, at a seminar conducted by the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) in Sydney today.

Brighton overviewed the changes that have already occurred since 2000, following a review of the WorkCover scheme and operations.

Changes happening

The major aim is for the system to be fully-funded within 5-10 years, leading to lower workers compensation premiums.

Other aims include increased regulation of service providers, increased return-to-work rates and improved service delivery, although Brighton was careful to emphasise that these outcomes were not to be achieved 'at any cost' or 'as soon as possible'.

WorkCover’s new role as a scheme manager will bring with it greater accountability and commercial focus, and therefore the need for cultural change within the organisation, as it moves away from being primarily a regulator.

Changes due to take effect in July 2005 will drive this different role.

WorkCover envisages a transition period for the new arrangements of the entire second half of 2005. Brighton said that it had learnt from the experiences of Victoria and New Zealand that had made similar changes with a shorter transition period. For example, in Victoria some agents had been awarded more contracts by tender than they had the resources to cope with initially.

Further information

Further details about the seminar are available from AHRI.

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