NSW Workers Comp reforms backed

A major insurer has thrown their support behind the NSW Government’s plans to split the authority of the NSW Workers Comp Scheme.

Suncorp has welcomed the NSW WorkCover reforms that plan to create a clear separation between the insurance provider and the insurance regulator, feeling the split will remove conflicts of interest, distribute surpluses back into premium discounts and increase support for injured workers.

The NSW Government’s plans to implement the reforms arose after a recent statutory review of WorkCover by the Centre for International Economics found that the scheme has a reputation for being ‘pro-employer’ due to the divide from joint authorities.

A parliamentary committee suggested the WorkCover Independent Review Office needs to be a separate entity to represent individual complaints.

WorkCover’s representation of both the inspector of workplace occupational health and safety standards and the adviser to employees was also found to be a conflict of interest.

Chris McHugh, Suncorp’s Statutory Portfolio Executive General Manager, says the reforms will help boost efficiency in the market and offers brokers the chance to help clients understand the proposed changes.

“The new structure will remove potential conflicts of interest, ingrain accountability and improve scheme efficiency,” McHugh says.

“Thanks to good management, the NSW Government can now expand the benefits available to injured workers, improve return-to-work rates and making the scheme more equitable.

“Providing premium relief for employers will also have positive impacts for the economy and employment in NSW.”