Workers compensation scheme key to protecting our ageing workforce

 

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Cuts in Benefits could have long-term consequences for a rapidly ageing workforce.

The Injured Workers Support Network sees this all too often.

A older worker, working into their retirement to make sure they have food on the table (and something to do) has an accident at work which any other worker could have got. A loose shelf falls on a coles packer. A mad boss bullies and harasses because the worker is old and the manager thinks they are frail. A truck hasn’t be serviced properly and the breaks fail at the depot. these things happen. But if you are over the age of 65 in NSW and indeed in Australia, you don’t get workers compensation. You arn’t treated the same as anyone else. If your claim is accepted (and the insurer will claim that your broken ankle where the pallet jack ran over it is just “old age” catching up) then you may have support for a year, but your injury will more than likely take a lot longer to recover from than anyone else injured at work (old age does play its part).

The Australian Lawyers Alliance has spoken out against this injustice and makes the point that this is going to get worse. If you happen to be just under 50 years old now- you are more than likely going to be forced to work till your 70 before you can retire – in the current legislation, thats five years without adequate workers compensation.

The Australian Lawyers Alliance National President Andrew Stone sums it up well.

“As the average age of Australia’s working population increases, the government has highlighted the need to boost workforce productivity and participation,” Mr Stone said.

“However, if there is an expectation that people will have to work longer, there also will be a greater risk of workplace injury.”

“This is particularly the case in heavy industries, where it will be physically difficult for people to work longer, as well as in less physically demanding workplaces,” Mr Stone said.

 

The Australian Lawyers Alliance article can be found at: Australian Lawyers Alliance