The report recommends that the State Government develop a consistent method of measuring return-to-work rates because current data is inadequate.
The report also recommends enforcing performance standards for workers’ rehabilitation providers which receive referrals under the WorkCover scheme and requiring better reporting of their return-to-work outcomes.
Other recommendations outlined include:
- Ensuring weekly workers’ compensation payments do not fall below the minimum wage.
- Identifying the claims which need some “intensive” early management.
- Greater incentives for employers to take on costs through self-managed insurance.
Opposition industrial relations and finance spokesman Rob Lucas said current reporting was not transparent enough about which rehabilitation providers secured contracts and based on what criteria.
He said MPs also noted the controversial amendments to the WorkCover scheme in 2008 were “intended to increase return-to-work rates and reduce levy rates and WorkCover’s unfunded liability (but) clearly there has been no evidence of those goals being achieved”.
Tasmania’s rate of 80 per cent is the best return to work rate in the country.