Media Release From Stacks/The Law Firm On Changes To Workers Compensation
MEDIA RELEASE FROM STACKS/ THE LAW FIRM ON CHANGES TO WORKERS’ COMPENSATION
20th June 2012
The changes to workers’ compensation being pushed through the NSW Legislative Council today are far more draconian than the O’Farrell government foreshadowed in their Issues paper and its recommendations.
“I am appalled that these changes will hit the poorest and most vulnerable members of the community when half the blowout ($2 billion) is the result of investment downturn following the GFC. Why shouldn’t we employers share the pain?” said Maurie Stack OAM, chairman of Stacks Law Firm and a former president of the Law Society of NSW.”
The Bill shown to the parliament for the first time yesterday was substantially more punitive against injured workers than the recommendations delivered by the joint parliamentary committee just four days ago.
The Bill had to have been drafted beforehand and shows the public inquiry was a complete farce. Many of the amendments in the Bill were not the subject of the inquiry or consultation.
Injured workers will suffer greatly under the changes, slashing workers’ rights built up over decades even before the root cause of the problem was identified. The blowout in costs of the scheme were not due to payments to injured workers, but to the global financial crisis.
The Bill is outrageous. It removes a worker’s right to claim any lump sum compensation for their injury unless they exceed a high threshold. Their weekly benefits and payment of treatment expenses will be arbitrarily cut off despite whether they are capable of returning to work.
Workers will be asked to pay the costs of the insurer if they aren’t successful with their claims which result in many workers being fearful to pursue their rightful entitlements.
The retrospective aspects of the changes are completely unfair and against all legal principles. Most of the changes take force immediately.
Maurie Stack is available for interview at 0427 668 821
Stacks compensation specialist Kasarne Robinson at 9237 2222 or 0424 139 386
Stacks Media consultant Frank Walker
0417 090 346