Media Release: Labor protects worker’s compensation rights

 MEDIA RELEASE

21 October 2013

Labor has successfully amended legislation in the Victorian Parliament to ensure workers’ compensation rights were not gutted by the Napthine Government, State Member for Brunswick Jane Garrett said today.

Mr Scott said the Napthine Government introduced legislation last week that sought to significantly disadvantage injured workers.

“Predictably a Liberal Government sought to introduce anti-worker legislation but were prevented in doing so after failing to get the votes required for legislation of this kind,” Ms Garrett said.

“Even from Opposition, Victorian Labor is standing up for workers and fighting any attempt by the Liberals to make workers worse off – particularly injured workers.

“Workers have the right to safe employment and the right to adequate support in the event of injury – something the Liberals have never understood or valued.

“This Government has form for attacking WorkCover in Victoria and has ripped dividends out of the scheme every year since coming to office.

“Labor has a proud record of delivering successive premium reductions to employers while introducing reforms such as WorkHealth – a world-first program which improved the health and wellbeing of Victorian workers.

“This program is being scrapped from the end of the year and Victorians will be worse off as a result.”

The Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Bill 2013 introduced by the Napthine Government sought to:

  • establish a mechanism that could stall the resolution of injured workers lump sum impairment claims and deny seriously injured workers the ability to initiate a common-law claim.
  • undermine the judicial oversight of Medical Panels, reducing the capacity for injured workers to seek judicial review of medical panel opinions.
  • remove the protection of the “Harman Rule” of evidence for injured workers.

Jane Garrett’s parliamentary contribution during debate on the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Bill 2013 is attached.

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