Labor’s Bill to Privatise Public Sector Workers’ Comp Insurance – Defeated in Upper House

The State Parliament’s Upper House voted against Labor’s Return to Work Corporation of South Australia (Crown Claims Management) Amendment Bill, which sought to privatise public sector workers’ compensation insurance in South Australia. Under the Bill, Crown claims would be referred to claims agents – Employers Mutual Limited and Gallagher Bassett – rather than managed in-house by the relevant Department. 

Greens Industrial Relations Spokesperson, Tammy Franks MLC says: “The Government failed to provide a business case for the Bill and why it thinks ReturnToWorkSA’s claims agents can do a better job than self-insurers, despite the poor track record of the Corporation.

“This month, it was revealed at the South Australian Employment Tribunal, that an injured worker, Michael Lesiw, who suffered a psychiatric injury, had not received compensation because ReturnToWork SA failed to inform him that he won the case almost a decade ago for the claim.

“ReturnToWork SA failed to inform Mr Lesiw, that he had won the case in 2002 in the case of Lesiw v ReturnToWorkSA this occurred despite several requests made by Mr Lesiw to get the outcome from the Corporation. His requests were ignored which caused him to spiral further into depression. 

“It is cases like this of negligence and maladministration that creates doubt in ReturnToWorkSA’s ability to manage claims efficiently.

“The Crown self-insurance arrangements have easily out-performed the insured scheme and is managed by the most skilled and experienced claims managers in the State.

“Labor’s Bill could not have provided better service for injured workers or the Crown agencies and quite rightly the sector is pleased to see it crash and burn in the State’s Upper House.” 

Ms Franks concluded. 

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