Compensation benefits will be slashed under changes to NSW’s WorkCover scheme to be recommended by a parliamentary committee today.
It is understood a report to be tabled in NSW Parliament will recommend the abolition of journey claims.
That will mean that workers will no longer be covered for injuries while travelling to and from work.
Advertisement: Story continues below
Construction worker Tom Rigby, who lost a leg after a construction accident, turns out for the protest against changes to the state’s WorkCover scheme.
Greens MP David Shoebridge said he had received “very strong reports that the parliamentary committee has signed off on every one of the government’s recommended cuts and this will be a disaster for injured workers”.
He said workers compensation payments were cut to the bone a decade ago.
“These further reductions will see many injured workers fall into poverty,” he said.
“The removal of journey claims means employees are not covered when they travel to and from work but everyone needs to get to their place of work and come home.
“Journey claims amount to only a tiny proportion of the scheme’s costs and removing these entitlements will leave thousands of workers without any protection when they are injured.”
Mr Shoebridge said there were 7000 journey claims last year but, because most of the associated costs were recovered from third parties, the financial impact was only 4 per cent of all benefits paid.
Finance Minister Greg Pearce recently released a paper recommending that journey claims be abolished. It also recommended a cap on payments and the withdrawal of entitlements for nervous shock to family members of people injured or killed on the job.