The Australian government has agreed to pay out $1.1 billion to more than 50,000 workers who have died at industrial accidents, with IBM to pick up the remaining $700 million.
Key points:The Government will pay $200 million towards a new $1 million payout for each worker killed at a workplaceThe money will be paid in a lump sum to affected workers in the same way as existing compensation paymentsThe Government said it was satisfied with the outcomes of its inquiry into industrial accident compensationThe Government has said the money will go towards a $200m payment to affected employees in the similar way as current compensation payments.
The announcement comes on the day the Government is due to publish a report on industrial accident liability.
The $200 billion compensation payout will be divided up as follows: $700.5 million will go to workers in Australia’s largest industrial accident insurance schemes, the Commonwealth and Commonwealth Employees’ Union, and the State Government.
About $200.5 billion will be split up between the Australian Industry Group, which has more than 1,300 workers across the country, and a new compensation scheme called the Workplace Compensation Fund.
Workplace injury compensation has become one of the Government’s signature policies, with the Federal Government paying $1 per cent of the workplace injury premiums collected from employees.
In a statement, Minister for Employment Peter Dutton said the Government had listened to feedback on the inquiry into workplace injury compensation and had decided to move ahead with the payout.
“We believe it is right that the Government pay out the remaining compensation to all of those who have been hurt by an industrial accident,” Mr Dutton added.
“The Government is satisfied that there is a significant number of workers who would be entitled to compensation, and that the best way to deliver this is through a new workplace compensation scheme.”
The Government had previously estimated it would be paid out in about three years, but that figure has since been revised down to one year.
The Government’s new compensation system will also be available to employers and workers across Australia.
The Australian Industry, Forestry and Mining Association said the compensation scheme would provide workers compensation for industrial accidents that happened at their workplace, including a worker’s death.
“This is a very significant investment and we are very pleased the Government has agreed,” the association’s national secretary Chris Hartley said.
“Employers and employees alike will benefit from a system that gives them a fair payout, while the Government will also make sure it provides meaningful compensation for the industry.”
Industry groups say the Government needs to find a way to better protect workers and the environment.
“Industry is one of our largest contributors to the economy, but it’s one of many industries that are at risk from industrial accidents,” Australian Council of Trade Unions general secretary Paul Farrell said.
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