South Australia increases compensation for workplace injury
Workers in South Australia would still be able to claim compensation for multiple injuries caused in the same incident, after the state government reached a compromise with business unions.
For workers to be considered “seriously injured” and eligible for lifetime payments, the legislation entails that the worker would have to suffer from 35% impairment, up from 30% previously.
Workers will also be able to take a lump-sum payout rather than weekly payments.
The state government had initially sought to change the state’s Return to Work Act by ensuring workers’ injuries were treated individually rather than cumulatively. The move, it said, would protect employers from paying a higher premium to ReturnToWorkSA, which provides work injury insurance.
However, this led to pressure from businesses and unions citing that injured workers would be left worse off.
“Workers’ compensation still needs significant work so that it is sustainable and looks after injured workers and we’ll keep striving for improvements,” said SA Unions State Secretary Dale Beasley.
“There’s also significant work to be done to ensure workers are safer at work and avoid being injured in the first place,” he added.