Workplace compensation payments for mental health injuries could be limited to post-traumatic stress disorder and exclude bullying and harassment, under a major overhaul of the Victoria’s troubled WorkCover scheme.
It’s a politically risky decision and is one of several options being canvassed by the Andrews government in its delicate talks with business and unions, as it tries to work out how to rein in the program that has suffered billion-dollar budget blowouts.
And it’s little surprise that the government is tackling the issue after the state election.
While Labor basked in the glow of its election victory over summer, some big challenges are now starting to grip the Andrews government — and many of them involve money.
Last week, the government declared the WorkCover scheme was “fundamentally broken”.
The scheme is simply costing the government too much money.
Benefits paid to injured workers are now exceeding the premiums paid by business to fund the scheme by $1.1 billion every year – and that gap continues to grow.