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Govt unveils Workcover overhaul

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The State Government has announced a sweeping series of reforms to the State’s Workcover system.

The most significant reform will set time limits of two years on benefits paid to workers who are not considered seriously injured.

The Government says the scheme will save all businesses money on their premiums and quickly close the unfunded liability gap that has imperiled the system for several years.

Premier Jay Weatherill said Labor was promising a “brand new scheme”.

“For many workers, WorkCover has failed to return them to work as quickly as originally planned, which in turn has driven up costs for employers,” he said.

“It is an unsatisfactory outcome for both sides of the equation.”

He said there would be a “complete rewrite” of the WorkCover Act with “fundamental changes to the structure of support for injured workers, claim lodgement and dispute resolution”.

Industrial Relations Minister John Rau said the changes would deliver significant improvements to WorkCover’s financial position.

“Under the new scheme, average WorkCover premiums for businesses in South Australia will come down to 2 per cent or less and the unfunded liability will virtually disappear,” Rau said.

He said a small business with 10 employees that currently pays about $12,500 annually on their WorkCover premium could expect to save about $5000 under the proposed new scheme.

For full details, and to view Labor’s policy paper, go here.

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