Joint with Brendan O'Connor MP, Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
News that Australia Post will be subject to regulatory action after it was found to have breached its self-insurance license conditions under the Commonwealth workers’ compensation scheme comes as no surprise to Labor, particularly under a government that religiously attempts to undermine the Comcare scheme.
The investigation only came about after a former Australia Post employee raised the alarm that individuals had delayed decisions on workers’ compensation claims to benefit financially from meeting internal performance targets.
The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission investigation found evidence of delays in processing claims to meet Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate targets in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014.
The investigation found these deliberate delays in processing claims breached Australia Post’s compliance with the legislation and failed to manage claims guided by the principles of equity, good conscience and the substantial merits of the case.
This is a shocking state of affairs for the Australia Post and the Comcare self-insurance license scheme. It prompts the question, what are other companies getting away with ripping off workers’ compensation schemes under this Govermment’s watch?
This Government has a track record of attempting to undermine the Comcare scheme, and in fact wanted to expand the number of companies who could choose to self-insure in the last Parliament with the broader intention of undermining state workcover schemes.
It was Labor that put a stop to this Government’s attempts to undermine workers’ compensation schemes in 2014, because we were already fully aware of the light touch approach self-insurance licensees have been allowed to get away with.
This latest admission by Australia Post further confirms that we had every right to be concerned, and continue to be concerned that expanding the Comcare scheme to cover more self-insurance licensees will result in stronger bottom lines for business at the expense of workers.