Media Feature — Cost of COVID-19 workers compensation cover was ‘overestimated’ by 103 per cent

By Anna Patty. Published in The Sydney Morning Herald. 

“The cost of providing essential workers automatic compensation for COVID-19 infection would be $315 million, according to new analysis, which is less than half the $638 million the state government estimated as the reason to repeal the cover.

University of NSW Professor of Economics Richard Holden has found the government’s cost of the presumption that frontline workers were infected on the job instead of in the community is outdated and more than double (103 per cent) of what he calculated.

The figures are included in a submission by public policy organisation, the McKell Institute, to a NSW parliamentary inquiry into the government’s decision to repeal section 19B of the Workers Compensation Act which was introduced last year to provide automatic protection for COVID-19 infection. Hearings for the upper house inquiry will be held next week.”