Discussion of proposed changes to WRCA commencing

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Monday 31 March 2014

The SA Government proposals for workers compensation scheme reform were published on 24th January 2014. Click here to view the document.

The Government paper outlines the following:

  • Seriously injured workers will be entitled to 100% income maintenance and lifetime care and support.
  • Access to common law will be available subject to unspecified restrictions and limitations. 
  • The causation tests for claims (including psychological claims) will be strengthened.
  • The distinction between injuries and secondary injuries will be removed.
  • Unspecified strengthening of employer responsibilities to provide suitable employment, along with early intervention, employee obligations and the like.
  • Income maintenance (IM) to be capped at 2 years from date of injury.
  • Medical entitlements to cease 1 year after IM ceases.
  • An unspecified ‘new approach’ to dispute resolution.
  • Replacement of medical panels with Independent Medical Assessors within the jurisdiction of the Workers Compensation Tribunal (WCT).

The issue of greatest concern to SISA is the proposed re-introduction of common law, which would create significant risk and fundiung uncertainties to a scheme that is in need of greater certainty and less risk. Click here to read the SISA background paper on common law. Click here to read the case against re-introducing common law.

SISA is in discussion with other major business associations about the Government proposals. Click here to read the current SISA position.

It is likely that a new Act or a significantly revised current Act would commence in 2015.