Reforms to workers compensation in NSW were passed through parliament last month and have since been met with considerable backlash and complaint.
The state government made changes to the existing laws, including more restrictive caps placed on medical payments and no compensation for those injured travelling to and from work.
Many disgruntled groups have all loudly voiced their opposition to the new laws, yet to no avail, with the exception of firefighters, who were eventually made exempt from the changes after they staged the biggest strike in over 50 years.
In addition, the reforms do not apply to police officers.
State minister for finance and services Greg Pearce said that the reason for these changes was financial – to put it simply, NSW could no longer afford to support all its injured workers to the same extent as before.
“The workers’ compensation scheme has been costing the state up to $9 million a day and it’s time to put the plan for recovery into action,” he explained in a statement last month (June 19).
“Its $4 billion deficit is spiralling out of control and we simply cannot afford to wait around.”
While he made it clear that the government was still doing all it could within the means it had to support injured workers and help them on the road to recovery, some people have still not accepted the changes.
Of these people include the NSW opposition leader John Robertson of the Labor party.
Among his election promises, Mr Robertson has pledged to his supporters that he will do all he can to overturn the WorkCover reforms.
“Just as we fought the passage of these laws on the floor of parliament until three o’clock in the morning, we will fight these changes until the day Barry O’Farrell is thrown out of office,” he said at a Labor conference on Saturday (July 14), as reported by the Australian.
In addition, he also said that “the first act of Labor in government will be to scrap Barry O’Farrell’s workers’ compensation laws,” reported the Sydney Morning Herald.
It will be interesting to see how the elections play out and whether Mr Robertson will indeed manage to change this legislation.
In the meantime, those in the NSW region may be interested to know that there are lawyers in Sydney that can help you make a claim for compensation should you be eligible.