The SA government has reached a compromise over workers’ compensation. 

South Australian workers can claim compensation for multiple injuries caused in the same incident, after the state government backed down under pressure from unions.

However, the state has succeeded in lifting the threshold for workers to be considered “seriously injured” from 30 per cent to 35 per cent of whole-person impairment.

The measure is designed to reduce the premiums employers pay to ReturnToWorkSA to cover potential work injury claims. 

Additionally, seriously injured workers can receive compensation until retirement age rather than for two years.

The government was concerned by a judgement last year that workers could claim multiple injuries from the same accident - such as a combined physical and psychological injury - which could have increased how much employers pay to ReturnToWorkSA from 1.8 per cent of their wage bill to 2.2 per cent.It sought to introduce legislation to force workers to claim for their injuries separately, but was met with surprise and anger from unions.

Premier Peter Malinauskas said the new agreement will see premiums increase to 1.9 per cent, after negotiations with both unions and business groups.

The government plans to introduce the new bill to parliament this week.

“It is our hope now that a broad agreement has been reached between both unions and business, that we can now enjoy the support of the upper house and I would certainly hope that [Opposition Leader] David Speirs would come to the party and provide Liberal Party support for this legislation so this can be dealt with,” Mr Malinauskas said.

Also under the proposed legislation, seriously injured workers can claim a lump-sum payment rather than weekly payments from ReturnToWorkSA.