Become a Member
Posted 6 Aug '16

APA (NSW) Member Update – Workers Compensation – Who’s a “Paramedic”

APA (NSW) Member Update   Workers Compensation – Who’s a “Paramedic”

Friday 7 August 2015

Dear Member,

You may recall that in 2012, the Government brought in changes to the Workers Compensation Act (NSW) 1987 which significantly reduced entitlements to workers. It was determined at the time that emergency workers which included Paramedics, Police Officers and Firefighters would be exempt from the changes and hence would continue to be covered under the previous, more generous, workers compensation entitlements. However, what resulted from this decision is legal uncertainty as to when exactly a worker is considered a “paramedic” for workers compensation purposes.    Soon after the legislation changed in 2012, the NSW Ambulance’s workers compensation insurer started to decline claims, including some that were previously accepted, on the basis that at the time the worker was injured, the worker was not carrying out “frontline” paramedic duties and therefore not considered a “paramedic” for the purposes of workers compensation (ie. not exempt from the new legislation).

This position was taken by the insurer despite the fact that these workers were being remunerated as a paramedic under the Award and despite their position requiring them to maintain paramedic qualifications. Eg. Paramedic Educators, Paramedics working in the Control Centre or paramedics that are on secondment but maintain substantive paramedic position.     We are pleased to inform you that APA (NSW) and its legal team has successfully achieved a win for one of its members’ who was injured whilst on secondment.    The Industrial Relations Commission handed down its decision this week and agreed that the member is considered a paramedic at the time she was carrying out the secondment (despite not carrying out frontline paramedic work) and is therefore exempt from the 2012 workers comp changes. A copy of the decision can be found here.

Whilst there is a 21 day appeal period, this decision is a big win for paramedics and we look forward to the impact this case may have as a legal precedent and on future insurance decisions.
Regards,

APA (NSW) Executive

Your Choice, Your Voice

Related News



Still No Uniform Solutions from NSW Ambulance

NSW Ambulance (NSWA) continues to bury their head in the sand when it comes to our uniform.
 
The current polyester uniform, including the short-sleeved shirt, has been causing work health and safety concerns for several members in hot and/or humid climates. This is unacceptable.


Paramedics take action against public sector wage cut

Today the Australian Paramedics Association (NSW) are commencing industrial action to stand against the announced wage cut by the Premier. For months, Paramedics and other essential workers put our lives and the lives of our families at risk to look after the people of New South Wales during the COVIID-19 Pandemic.


APA (NSW) appalled by NSW Premier plan to freeze our wages

The NSW Premier’s announcement to freeze the pay of public sector workers for 12 months is disgraceful. Paramedics and our frontline colleagues have been used, yet again, as scapegoats for this Government. We are praised as heroes for our hard work, and in the same breath served a pay cut that will ultimately send our wages backwards.