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Some good news? Workcover NSW and Federal Government contracts

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Mostly we’re complaining about bad government behaviour. And we should! And we will continue!

BUT, it makes a pleasant change to report some good news.

Workcover NSW:
As far back as 2005 we had been actively trying to defend self-employed people in NSW from the NSW WorkCover Authority. In 2012 the new government undertook a review. In our submission we stated that the workers compensation scheme is

… one of institutional oppression directed towards [the] self-employed, …has inflicted enormous harm on NSW small business people…and … the authority has a history of acting in a dictatorial manner, answerable only to itself.
We substantiated our claims with actual case studies.

Following the review, the Workcover Authority was effectively sacked. A new body was formed to handle the scheme called icare. What a difference!

We’ve had dealings with icare over the last 3 years and some recently on some touchy, difficult issues. We may not be in complete agreement with some outcomes. However, we’ve found the icare personnel and their processes open, transparent, honest, interested in facts and not presumptions and genuinely interested in fairness. icare has just undertaken a new review focused on improving customer service delivery. They deserve congratulations and we trust the improvements continue!

Federal Contracts
You’ll be aware of our work to secure unfair contract protections for small business people and the success we’ve had with that. However, what’s always ‘got up our noses’ is that government is exempt from these laws. You know—one law for the plebs and a different standard for the powerful!

We chatted with the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission about this. They conducted a review of the Federal Government’s ‘standard form contract’ and found some concerns. As a result, the government has amended its contract. This is hugely important. Massive numbers of small businesses and self-employed people provide goods and services to the federal government.

We’ll have more to say on this. There are some sensible and fair elements. Here’s the new contract.

If you do business with the Federal Government, we suggest you make sure your contract is in accord with this one.

 

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