Unions Tasmania today welcomes the announcement by Minister Guy Barnett that the Tasmanian Government will be undertaking legislative reform to the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act to include a presumptive provision for PTSD for public sector workers.
“Unions in Tasmania have led the campaign for presumptive PTSD provisions in our workers compensation legislation. This is a fantastic announcement and we welcome these positive changes by the Hodgman Government,” said Jessica Munday, Secretary of Unions Tasmania.
“That these legislative reforms will cover all public sector workers is fantastic news and, importantly, this legislation will apply to first responders such as paramedics, firefighters and police officers as well as other groups of workers, such as correctional officers, who suffer high levels of PTSD,” said Ms Munday.
Ms Munday also paid tribute to the bravery of union members who publicly shared their stories in pursuit of these reforms.
“First responders, and in particular, paramedics, have candidly shared their experiences in the public domain to help make these changes happen. They have not only talked openly about what it’s like to suffer from PTSD but also the difficulties they have faced in navigating an often adversarial system, the stigma that comes with being diagnosed with this illness and the struggle to get back to work. These reforms will be so important in breaking down that stigma and providing real support to workers with PTSD”.
Unions Tasmania also welcomes the Government’s commitment to work through other matters identified in the review including further examination of how workers suffering from PTSD can be better supported and whether the presumptive provisions should be further applied to other occupational categories in the private sector. We intend to work with Government on these issues.
“These reforms will make a real and meaningful difference in the lives of workers with PTSD. They are absolutely the right thing to do,” said Ms Munday.
For further information: Jessica Munday 0417 454 809