Updated Saturday, July 2, 2011
WORKCOVER SA has been active in its endeavour to include various groups to what is termed their ‘Stakeholder Meetings’. Essentially these meetings are held on a regular basis to keep the interest groups informed and up to date in matters pertaining to Workers Compensation.
For some time VOID attended these meetings with an aim to ensure its members were properly represented in the various changes and updates. Clearly the Workers Compensation system includes compensation for the family of the worker that does not return to work. Of course, in that vain, we should be there but after having trudged the process with various VOID representatives, it was decided that our presence there was likely wasted energy.
The number of injured workers on the scheme heavily out weighs those that have died. Thus, the main issue we encountered was the high focus placed on the ‘return to work’ strategy. Obviously this is an important topic for the department and we don’t dispute the value of this strategy. It is just that it does make the exercise rather fruitless for those who represent the group of people who ‘can’t return to work’.
What we found was after our members returned from one of the stakeholder meetings, there was a lingering feeling of frustration and one that subjects a lack of relevance.
The decision was made that we would not have a regular attendance at these stakeholder meetings but rather that we would raise issues with WorkCover SA and EML in time when we need a member’s problem looked into.
This will remain our position until we are able to steer the whole process of compensating a workplace death into a more suitable arena. By that we mean that we are working at a proposal that will give the families of a deceased worker an independent path to follow as opposed to navigating that which is really designed for an injured worker.