THE LAW Society of Tasmania has joined the peak legal body defending the rights of injured Australians in condemning the compensation thresholds in the state’s workers’ compensation law.
The Australian Lawyers Alliance and the Law Society have called on the state government to overhaul the injury compensation thresholds. Law Society president Leanne Topfer said the thresholds, introduced in changes to workers’ compensation in 2001, have “brought no financial relief to employers and seem to have benefited insurers at the expense of injured workers”.
The Law Council of Australia and unions supported the call to the government at the launch of a community-backed campaign, Fairer Compensation for Injured Workers, in Hobart last week.
“The changes mean that people injured at work must pass an arbitrary and unfair threshold before they can claim damages from an employer who has caused them to often extremely painful and disfiguring injures,” said Topfer.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Lawyers Alliance Tasmania president Sandra Taglieri said the government could no longer ignore the issue because there is such widespread concern about it.
“When it changed the law, the government never intended to completely deny fair compensation to workers who had been injured by their employer’s negligence, but that’s what has happened. We need some balance restored to the system,” said the Lawyers Alliance president.