Injured Workers Campaign Network

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31 October 2022

Injured Workers Campaign Network

Workers fighting for change in the NSW workers’ compensation system

Reform of the NSW workers’ compensation is long overdue. In 2020, the news broke that injured workers and dust-diseases victims were underpaid to the tune of $80 million in payments by iCare, the very institution set up by the former Premier Dominic Perrottet in his capacity as Treasurer. The scandals continued to roll in. Early last year, it was revealed iCare was responsible for leaking the personal information of 193,000 injured workers to employers and insurers. On top of this, iCare’s deficit has blown out to $1.5 billion, after which they were bailed out by the Government.

The very system that should be empowering people to return to work is instead driving people into poverty and despair.

Because of the campaign run by the Injured Workers Campaign Network where they secured over 150 sitting members and candidates’ signatures on their pledge ahead of the 2023 NSW State Election, the Labor Government has committed to addressing the woeful mess left by the former government and begin the process of returning fairness and dignity back into the system. Members have utilised their lived experience and stories to be drivers of change, through applying pressure on politicians and the decision makers at iCare.

In 2023, the IWCN gained a huge win through seeing the first, and most significant part of their pledge be passed into law. From next year, injured workers will have representation on the board of iCare through Unions NSW. Additionally, the Network will be sitting on an advisory body made up solely of injured workers to ensure the bodies responsible for the management of the scheme. These two layers of representation will ensure that these agencies will have direct contact with the injured workers who are affected by their decision making.

The current the goal of the Campaign Network is to see the remaining part of the pledge addressed. The Campaign Network’s asks are clear.

They want to see a workers’ compensation and rehabilitation system that:

•Returns injured workers to work when it is safe to do so;
•Has doctor-led care with timely and appropriate medical treatment;
•Protects injured workers from unfair terminations;
•Ensures polite, timely & accurate responses to all enquiries and requests;
•Provides ongoing medical & financial support for workers unable to return to work by removing s39 & 59A of the Workers Compensation Act 1987.

You can get involved in the fight by joining the supporter network here.

Find more information about IWCN here.