Inquiry into the Operation of Queensland's Workers' Compensation Scheme
Published: 12 October 2012
Submission to the Queensland Parliament Finance and Administration Committee
The QNU thanks the Finance and Administration Committee (the Committee) for providing this opportunity to comment on the operation of Queensland’s workers’ compensation scheme. Our submission responds to the inquiry’s terms of reference and includes a case study in support of our recommendations.
The Queensland economy and its health system relies on its dedicated workforce. As a trade union we represent the industrial and professional interests of our members who provide the care that Queenslanders expect and deserve. We therefore begin our submission with an overview of the QNU and the nursing profession in order to highlight the nature of the work our members undertake when caring for the community.
We emphasise here the critical role that the workers’ compensation scheme plays in supporting the nursing workforce. Our members work under considerable physical and emotional stress that places them at risk across a range of workforce injuries and illnesses. Their health and safety is paramount in maintaining and advancing the future wellbeing of the community.
Workers compensation is a vital component of the social wage of the QNU’s membership and the management of workers compensation is of particular concern to us. The Queensland workers’ compensation scheme has delivered close to the lowest premiums in the country over the last 15 years and reliable coverage for the workforce.
The QNU believes that the existing scheme adequately compensates injured workers and/or their families and should not be altered in way that undermines or undervalues the provisions of this scheme. It is within this context that we address the matters relevant to nurses and nursing work currently under consideration by the Committee.
We ask the Committee to read this submission in conjunction with that of our state peak body, the Queensland Council of Unions (QCU).
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