Stuart Ayres MP, Member for Penrith has welcomed the passage through Parliament of the Workers Compensation Amendment Bill 2015 and the State Insurance and Care Governance Bill 2015.
“This is a big win for injured workers and businesses in Penrith and across NSW,” Stuart Ayres said. “It’s clear we have struck the right balance between the needs of injured workers and the businesses that support the scheme.”
The Bills will see $1 billion worth of enhanced benefits passed on to injured workers and employers, and the structural reform of the workers compensation system. At the last election, the Baird-Grant Government committed that every dollar above the minimum surplus needed to keep the scheme sustainable would be returned to injured workers and business in a two third, one third split.
“The Baird-Grant Government is keeping its election promise and this is only made possible by a scheme in surplus,” Stuart Ayres said. “You cannot have a fair scheme without having a financially sustainable scheme. Our system has a social heart and a commercial mind.”
Under the benefit enhancements, injured workers will now have access to further assistance to get back to work or to continue their lives with dignity. Extended medical assistance, access to aids and prosthetics now provided for life and new education support will see every injured worker in the system benefit.
Businesses with good safety and return to work performance records will also be rewarded with substantial performance discounts.
Under the structural reforms, three discrete agencies will be created to better manage and deliver insurance services, ending the inherent conflict of interest issue previously raised by numerous stakeholders and at Parliamentary inquiries.
“The Baird-Grant Government recognises while this announcement is important, there is still more work to do,” Stuart Ayres said.
“The next step in the evolution of the workers compensation system will be consultation on the regulation of legal costs. The Government will be in touch with stakeholders in coming weeks to determine the best way forward.”
For further information go to http://insurancereforms.nsw.gov.au/.