Minister for Finance and Services Greg Pearce says from today, more is being done to help injured workers get back to work sooner.

Mr Pearce said new measures will improve outcomes for workers and employers following reforms to the NSW Workers Compensation Scheme.

“From today injured workers will be offered more opportunities to get back on the job sooner with WorkCover helping employers identify suitable work,” Mr Pearce said.

“Employers will have obligations to assist injured workers get back into the workplace and will be required to ensure a suitable return to work program is in place.

“After a three-month grace period, WorkCover inspectors will be able to issue improvement notices for any failure by employers to meet these obligations,” he said.

Mr Pearce said as part of the reforms, workers who make a claim from today will receive up to 95 per cent of their average weekly earnings for the first 13 weeks of their claim based on their pre-injury earnings.

“As well, from today a WorkCover Independent Review Officer will be available to provide an independent review of decisions made about benefits and work capacity. 

“These reforms are focused on encouraging and assisting injured workers to return to work as soon as they have capacity to do so.

“An early, safe return to work by injured workers has been shown to be good for the employee’s recovery, health and wellbeing.

“The positive flow-on effect of getting skilled workers back into the workplace sooner is a reduction in the costs of claims and premiums, which in turn means less strain on business, jobs and the workers compensation system.”

For more information about the workers compensation changes and to access fact sheets, visit www.workcover.nsw.gov.au

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