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Victoria’s biggest WorkCover law firm has written to the Baillieu Government seeking an assurance that its decision to cut WorkCover premiums would not impact on injured workers’ entitlements.
Last week’s State Budget revealed that employer premiums would be reduced by an average of three per cent and in some cases up to 10 per cent.
Slater and Gordon general manager personal injuries Janine Gregory said the premium reduction, combined with the Government’s recent decision to divert $472 million from the Victorian WorkCover Authority into general revenue over four years, would place financial pressures on the scheme that could impact on injured workers.
“In light of these significant decisions in relation to the VWA scheme, we are concerned that the Government may be considering cutting benefits to injured workers and we are seeking an assurance from the Government that these things won’t happen,” Ms Gregory said.
“While employers will understandably welcome the latest decision in respect to premiums, the Victorian workforce needs to know that the reduced flow of money into the VWA will not reduce benefits or further restrict access to compensation or entitlements for injured workers.”
Ms Gregory this week wrote to Assistant Treasurer and Minister for WorkCover Gordon Rich-Phillips seeking a meeting over the issue.
The letter also called for Slater and Gordon and other leading plaintiff law firms to be consulted as part of two reviews underway that have the potential to significantly impact on TAC and WorkCover claimants.
Ms Gregory said the Government review of the Accident Compensation Act and the Essential Services Commission review of the VWA and TAC administrative arrangements would both benefit from wider consultation.
“Slater and Gordon has worked cooperatively with the VWA and the TAC in the past and we believe we could make a positive contribution to these very important reviews which will affect our clients,” Ms Gregory said.