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Workers Compensation package does nothing to help business

23 June, 2009

The Victorian Government’s new $90 million workers’ compensation package shows the Government has failed to take account of the impact on industry of the global economic and financial crisis by imposing costs on industry when it could have reduced them by cutting workers’ compensation premiums.

According to the Victorian Director of the Australian Industry Group, Tim Piper, the Government has bowed to union pressure to increase benefits at the worst possible time.

“Companies are hurting. The Government itself is predicting much higher unemployment in the State. It had the chance to reduce WorkCover premiums and other costs to industry in the recent Budget but chose not to.

“These increases mean any likely premium cuts have been lost and it will make it harder to keep people employed.

“It is simply the wrong time. The Government should be looking to reduce costs for industry at this time,” Piper said.

Ai Group did not oppose increasing the compensation for families of deceased workers and for workers who suffered permanent impairment and was pleased the Government did not introduce provisional liability into the scheme.

Ai Group has called on the Government to consider very carefully how soon these increases should be implemented. It has also suggested the Government reconsider changes to the Common Law statutory offer process which has the potential to place further pressure on Common Law costs and threaten the financial improvements made within the WorkCover scheme.

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