Workers compensation attorney Andrew Kepnes says the Government’s latest decision to scrap its current program for workers who die at work is a “sad day for families and workers.”
Key points:The new $20 million program is being replaced by a $5 million program to provide long-term compensation to those killed in workThe Government says it will not pay workers compensation to victims of industrial accidents in NSW and QueenslandIf the new system fails, the Government will consider a $10 million compensation programThe ABC understands Mr Kepnis is one of about 100 former and current employees of the NSW and ACT Government who are currently applying for compensation.
Mr Kepnses application has been approved and he is due to receive the compensation on Thursday.
“This is a sad day for the families of the deceased and their families, and a sad and tragic day for anyone who has lost a loved one in industrial accidents,” he said.
“We will not be able to meet these demands without any other funding and we cannot be expected to shoulder all the costs.”‘
We can’t afford to pay’The Government has confirmed it will be moving the $5-million compensation program to the State Government.
“The new scheme will have a $20-million dollar component to cover the cost of compensation for those who die in work, but we cannot afford to go down that road,” Mr Kepsnes said.’
I think they’re going to have to take the cost’The new compensation scheme will be a voluntary program, which means it will only be offered to workers who have been killed or injured at work.
“What this means is that we can’t pay for this, we can only pay for it if it’s the right program,” Mr Lefebvre said.
But Mr Kipsnes said he was disappointed the Government would abandon the $20M compensation fund.
“I think it’s a sad decision, but at the same time, I think it will have to be taken on board,” he told the ABC.
“You’re dealing with millions and millions of dollars of compensation and if you don’t have a fund in place, you’ve got to make a decision on whether it’s worthwhile.”
The Government will also be changing its approach to compensation payments to make them more targeted and better targeted at those who are killed or seriously injured in work.
The new approach will also require compensation to be paid in cash rather than in a lump sum.
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