Every South Australian worker is covered by workers compensation insurance which covers them if they are injured at work.
Our workers compensation law allows up to 2 years of wages as well as 3 years of medical expenses, rehabilitation, and a one-off payment of lump sum compensation if the Whole Person Impairment (“WPI”) from the injury is 5% or more.
South Australian workers with 30% WPI are called “Seriously Injured”. They are entitled to wages until retirement age and ongoing medical expenses. My Seriously Injured clients generally cannot work at all, need lots of help in their daily lives, and are in no position to support themselves or their families. Through no fault of their own they are significantly compromised.
Treasurer Rob Lucas is trying to change the way that WPI is assessed by changing the Impairment Assessment Guidelines. By doing it this way he avoids any scrutiny by the Parliament.
In most all cases the proposed changes will cut how much WPI injured workers are found to have. Rob Lucas is making it much harder for injured workers to get a lump sum payment or be considered Seriously Injured.
The changes will make life harder for our most vulnerable workers. It will affect their ability to recover from injuries, and return to work and the community.
The Treasurer Rob Lucas should not be able to make such change unilaterally. Such changes must be kept in the ambit of Parliament to allow proper discussion and debate: not pushed through without proper consultation.
There are over 750,000 employed persons in South Australia and their fate should not be left up to one person’s absolute discretion. We support a measure to ensure all changes to the Impairment Assessment Guidelines be assented to by the Parliament.