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Counting the costs of illness and injury on Australian workers


Alex Collie and colleagues write in The Conversation (1.5.18) that Australia’s complex and awkward system of workplace income support is a barrier to working with an illness or injury.

‘Many Australians become ill while they are in the workforce. Common health problems such as back pain and depression can limit their ability to work.

‘But it’s good for the workers, their employer and the economy to support them to stay in, or return to, paid work. It improves workers’ health, maintains employer productivity and reduces the costs of support and health care to the state.

‘A report recently released by a new collaboration of Commonwealth government, private sector and not-for-profit organisations found Australia’s complex system of income support provides financial assistance to a huge number of ill and injured workers.

‘… Streamlining Australia’s approach could reduce inequity based on personal circumstances or the nature in which an illness is acquired. It could also lead to better health and work outcomes for the many Australians who become sick or injured each year. And ultimately, it may reduce the amount of income support and improve workforce productivity.’


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