Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
John Walsh, Managing Partner of DonaldsonWalsh Lawyers, says that employers and workers alike face another year of uncertainty with a range of issues likely to impact upon the troublesome WorkCover Scheme.

Mr Walsh says that the generally positive commentary by WorkCover around the release of its Annual Report, and more recently the December figures, hides some worrying factors around unfunded liability; the return to work rate; the complexity of the Medical Panels process and a potentially confrontational approach to self insurers.

With regards to unfunded liability alone, Mr Walsh says: “Whilst the unfunded liability at 30 June 2010 has reduced and was reduced further for the six months to December 2010, the underlying fundamentals raise concerns. The Annual Report showed that its performance worsened in the six months to June 2010 and if that trend continues it can be expected that the unfunded liability will return to something in excess of $1 billion. Coupled with the underwriting loss, the worsening of the performance of the Scheme has the potential to affect the state’s AAA rating.”

Other issues Mr Walsh discusses in greater detail in his special report include:
  • Scheme performance and the unfunded liability
  • the potential impact of Judicial Intervention upon the effectiveness of Medical Panels
  • the draft Bill to reform WorkCover’s dispute resolution processes, which will be heavily reliant on effective Medical Panel processes
  • the WorkCover Performance Review, a political hot potato because many in the union movement feel that the reforms have not achieved the aim of increasing the return to work rate and reducing the unfunded liability but they have unfairly penalised injured workers
  • the new employer premium payment system for South Australia to replace the bonus penalty scheme which ceased on 30 June 2010. It can be expected that there will be winners and losers out of any change.
Please download the report for full details:

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Donaldson Walsh Lawyers

For further information, contact:
John Walsh
Managing Partner
Direct +61 8 8229 0930
Mobile 0411 223 891

DonaldsonWalsh Lawyers
Kings Chambers
320 King William Street
Adelaide SA 5000
Tel +61 8 8410 2555
Fax +61 8 8410 2322
[email protected]
John Walsh, Managing Partner
P: +61 8 8229 0930
M: 0411 223 891


workcover. insurance, self-insurers, work cover claims, Medical Panels, unfunded liability, returnng to work



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