This report analyses the proposed Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Bill 2014 (Cth) (SRC Bill), and, for a number of key reasons, argues that the bill should be rejected.
The Bill will clearly disadvantage working Australians, small business and taxpayers. Workers will be disadvantaged as the SRC Bill provides less entitlements, has the least effective regulator and the lengthiest and most cumbersome dispute resolution process of all the current workers’ compensation schemes in Australia.
The majority of businesses will also be disadvantaged under the SRC Bill as only multi-state employers can move to the new scheme. This means that the premium pool of the current state and territory schemes with be dramatically reduced as the larger businesses exit the scheme leading to an increase in premiums for the remaining small and medium-sized businesses and for those large organisations that only operate within one state.
Taxpayers also stand to lose from the new scheme as common law access will be limited, thereby shifting compensation claim costs from employers to taxpayers. Medicare, the NDIS and the welfare system all stand to absorb greater pressure due to lessor entitlements to injured workers