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Paul Goldsbrough – Senior Director Policy and Business Engagement Workplace Health and Safety Queensland. Injury Management 2013 Review of Queensland’s Workers’ Compensation Scheme – Issues and analysis. The Queensland Workers’ Compensation scheme. Workplace Health and Safety Queensland

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Paul Goldsbrough – Senior DirectorPolicy and Business EngagementWorkplace Health and Safety Queensland

Injury Management 2013

Review of Queensland’s Workers’ Compensation Scheme – Issues and analysis


The queensland workers compensation scheme
The Queensland Workers’ Compensation scheme

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland

Q-COMP

Insurers (WorkCover and Self Insurers)

150,000 businesses are employers

2.3 million workers

Highest proportion of total expenditure directed to claimants

Lowest proportion expended on insurance operations


Workcover financial performance
WorkCover Financial Performance

WorkCover in the black and fully solvent

equity position $541 million 30 June 2012

Only scheme with positive funding ratio:

Queensland 119%;

Victoria 96%;

NSW 78%;

SA 59.2%


Rehabilitation and rtw performance
Rehabilitation and RTW Performance

highest injured worker participation rate at 78%

highest rate of worker involvement in return to work plans at 85%

WorkCover achieved 97.6% return to work rate last year

Q-COMP’s Return to work assist program lifted whole scheme rate to 98.5%


Parliamentary review of scheme
Parliamentary review of Scheme

The Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 requires a review of the scheme at least once every 5 years

Current review being conducted by the Parliament’s Finance and Administration Committee


Parliamentary review of scheme1
Parliamentary review of Scheme

Commenced work in June 2012

Was due to report to Parliament 28 February 2013, report date extended to 23 May 2013

To date the Committee has received 206 written submission from over 184 organisations and individuals

Over 81 persons have attended public hearings in Brisbane, Mackay and Cairns


Employer submissions
Employer submissions

Advocate for:

Common law threshold

Restriction of journey claims

Restrictive definition of worker and injury

Provide personal experience with claims management and premium calculation

Seek more robust claims process:

Thorough investigations

Better contact with WorkCover

Education of treating doctors


Employer associations submissions
Employer Associations submissions

Advocate for:

Common law threshold

Restriction of journey claims

Restrictive definition of injury

Align definition of worker with Australian Taxation laws

More flexibility in premium calculation


Insurer submissions
Insurer submissions

Limited number of submissions

Advocate for:

Opening scheme to private insurers;

or

Outsource claims management to private insurers


Professional bodies submissions
Professional Bodies submissions

Limited number of submissions

Unique issues impacting their membership

Examples of issues include:

Chiropractors sought direct access by injured workers to allied health providers;

Melanoma patients submission sought retention of coverage for solar injuries.


Lawyer submissions
Lawyer submissions

Include submissions from peak bodies and individual law firms

Advocate for:

Retention of access to common law

Retention of access to journey claims


Union and worker submissions
Union and Worker submissions

Advocate for:

Retaining current scheme access and benefit structure

Oppose introduction of common law threshold

Oppose restriction to journey claims

Submit that the 2010 legislative reforms have achieved policy objectives.


Consistently raised matter
Consistently Raised Matter

Five matters consistently raised:

common law access threshold;

journey claims;

definition of injury;

definition of worker;

premium calculation method.


Access to common law
Access to Common Law

Over 102 submissions addressed access to common law

Employers seek introduction of threshold between 0% and 15%

Union, lawyers, workers oppose any changes

In 2011-12 common law claims made up 44% ($593.3M) of scheme claim costs


Journey recess claims
Journey/Recess Claims

Over 34 submissions addressed journey/recess claim entitlement

Cost of journey claims does not impact an employer’s premium experience

In 2011-12:

6,285 journey claims accepted

4,170 (66%) of claims related to vehicle incidents

$69M paid out for statutory claims

$27M recovered from MAIC

Net cost of journey claims to WorkCover of $42M


Definition of injury
Definition of Injury

Over 33 submissions addressed the definition of injury

Employers advocate that:

current definition is unfair to employers

employers paying for pre-existing injuries

employers paying for injuries sustained elsewhere

employment should be “the” significant contributing factor

Unions and lawyers do not support change


Definition of worker
Definition of Worker

Over 15 submissions addressed the definition of worker

Employers advocate that:

current definition is confusing

“results test” has failed to deliver certainty

inconsistent definition with ATO creates regulatory confusion and burden

burden most significant for industries that engage independent contractors

Unions and lawyers do not support change


Premium calculation
Premium Calculation

Over 33 submissions addressed current system for calculating premium

Employers seek increased recognition in premium of efforts & investments in WHS

Current EBR system incentivises employers to improve WHS outcomes; however, the lag is too long for business

WorkCover has commenced implementing procedural improvements to address some of the issues raised in submissions.


Questions
Questions

For Further Information

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland

www.worksafe.qld.gov.au

Q-COMP

www.qcomp.com.au

WorkCover Queensland

www.workcoverqld.com.au


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