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Major changes to the NSW Workers Compensation system

As you may be aware recently Workcover NSW passed legislation bringing some major changes to the Workers Compensation system . The NSW system is reportedly some $4 billion in the red and a drastic overhaul is required to address this situation .

Some of the major changes include the following ;

  • Some injured workers will have undergo work capacity testing,
  • There will be a time cap on wage and medical benefits,
  • Journey claims will be abolished, except for police.
  • Benefits payable to dependents of injured or deceased workers for their nervous shock be abolished,
  • Wage benefits only to be paid as a function of actual pre injury earnings, not the Award rate, Those wage benefits will be similar to the Victorian model: n cases of total incapacity, 95 per cent of their pre-injury average weekly earnings for the first 13 weeks of total incapacity, and then 80 per cent from week 14 onwards.
  • Total incapacity earnings for the first 13 weeks of total incapacity, and then 80 per cent from week 14 onwards.
  • Less seriously injured workers, will only be able to obtain benefits for 5 years,
  • Medical benefits only to be payable to one year after retirement age.
  • Wage benefits will only be paid to retirement age.
  • Mandatory, independent, binding work capacity testing be carried out at defined intervals.
  • Pain and suffering payments (Section 67 benefits) to be wrapped up with Permanent Impairment payments (Section 66)
  • Only two further Permanent Impairment claims to be made after the first, and then only if there has been an increase of at least 5%,
  • There will be an increase the thresholds for permanent impairment and hearing loss,
  • The premium model will be amended to create incentives for employers both with respect to safety performance and return to work of injured workers.

Workers Compensation remains one of the most significant costs facing companies in today’s business environment. Moreover, different legislation in each State makes understanding risk exposures even more challenging. At Affida, we ensure you’re fully aware of legislativechanges and the exposures facing your business; we will work closely with you to establish policies and procedures that accurately reflect your obligations and requirements under varying State legislation.

For a more detaled analysis of the workcover changes, click here & download our Changes to Workers Compensation Scheme paper.

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