Overhaul to bring short, fast path to work
Unions support the scrapping of medical review panels for injured South Australian workers, as part of a WorkCover overhaul.
The work safety authority reforms could see it re-branded as Return to Work, a name belying the renewed focus on ways of getting people back to work quickly.
Unions say the changes must be made to help injured people get back into work without penalising them.
The South Australian Government is considering many key changes in what some see as the compensation scheme's biggest shift in decades.
Some of the changes are aimed at workers who suffer minor injuries but remain on compensation for more than two years.
SA Attorney-General John Rau says the unfunded liability of WorkCover must to be reduced to make injured workers ineligible for cover after two years.
He says the compensation reforms, which cover about 430,000 employees in 50,000 businesses, could save businesses about $180 million each year through lower insurance premiums alone.
He claims 94 per cent of workers would get increased benefits or be no worse off.
SA Unions secretary Joe Szakacs has told ABC that the union supports the efforts to make WorkCover financially sustainable, ad believes getting rid of medical review panels will save money and cut a source of stress for injured workers.
“We've seen various court decisions that have said the medical review panels are actually redundant so we're pleased to see that in this reboot that medical review panels... will be scrapped,” he said.
“That's a good thing for workers and it's a very big cost saving for the scheme too so it's good all round.”