Bipartisan Support on Harming Injured Workers

November 2, 2016

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

 

The South Australian Liberal and Labor parties have banded together to abandon injured workers after failing to support a private members Bill to fix a loophole in the Return To Work Act.

 

The Act includes provisions required to transition from the old WorkCover Act to the new Return to Work Act which came into effect in 2014.  However injured workers who should be entitled to income maintenance payments are missing out because of the wording of the Act which stipulates a 30 June 2015 cut-off date. If a worker was not receiving a payment or had made a claim for an injury which occurred before 30 June 2015, then they are not eligible for any payment at all.

 

Case study:

A worker is injured at work in 29 June 2015. They finish their shift in order to not leave their employer short staffed. They submit a claim on 2 July 2015 for income maintenance but are advised that as they did not have a claim on prior to 30 June and they were not in receipt of a payment before the cut-off date they are not entitled to worker’s compensation. This leaves the injured worker in pain, unable to work and with no income because they were injured at work.

 

NXT MLC John Darley says: “We gave the government the opportunity to fix this. This is a mistake and by not supporting this bill, the both the Government and the Opposition are sending a clear message that they intentionally wanted this outcome. They are happy to let injured workers suffer because of a technicality.”

 

Greens MLC Tammy Franks says: “Another kick in the guts for injured workers who are down was just delivered by a Labor Government who should be standing up for them. It is disheartening to know that this Labor Government, once stood so proud for its strong track record of standing up for injured workers has abandoned them.”

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