The Australian Government’s workplace safety and compensation authority, Comcare, has improved its claim systems after two injured workers were underpaid over several years, as detailed in a Commonwealth Ombudsman’s report released today.
Comcare CEO Paul O’Connor welcomed the Ombudsman’s scrutiny and reinforced Comcare’s acknowledgement of the findings.
“Comcare again apologizes to the people affected – we recognize that coping with injury and disability has major challenges and the right level of support compensation is important. We have already used the findings in the Ombudsman’s report to improve our systems.”
The legislation under which Comcare operates does not allow workers to make claims under the normal compensation scheme for defective administration which covers most Australian Government agencies. Comcare has identified other solutions to address the gap.
O’Connor notedthe Ombudsman commended Comcare for action it took to address the recommendations in his report, including actively seeking to recompense the workers for financial losses they suffered as a result of the late payment of their entitlements.
“We agree with the Ombudsman’s report. Workers should be able to trust Comcare – it is a fundamental principle and one we strive to achieve. We’re an organization prepared to reflect, learn from our mistakes and improve what we do,” O’Connor said.
“The particular difficulties in fixing these problems were also observed by the Department of Finance and Deregulation.”
O’Connor said the Comcare scheme had been in existence for 21 years and its processes were being modernized to respond to demographic and technology changes. (workersxzcompxzkit)
“We are currently strengthening our service delivery through a new strategic plan to focus on improving care and support for injured workers when they deal with us.”
Author Rebecca Shafer, J.D. President Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers’ Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, manufacturing, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He can be contacted at: Robert_Elliott@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
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