The NSW Government is facing claims they underpaid 50,000 injured workers by $80 million.
This is the largest wage theft scandal in Australia involving a government.
But this gets worse. The NSW Treasurer awarded executive bonuses to the government agency, called 'icare', which manages the injured workers money.
So while icare executives received bonuses, they underpaid 50,000 injured workers.
Deborah Glass, Victorian Ombudsman described the failing workers' compensation scheme as "Downright immoral, unethical and systemic" and said "This isn't about people's lives, it's about money."
And this is just the tip of the iceberg:
- Icare's executive inherited a $4 billion surplus, which has disappeared in just 4 years.
- Icare secretly tried to cut off payments to thousands of injured workers to make up for their dire financial situation.
- An independent review found that icare didn't follow the law in 46 percent of injured workers' cases.
- Icare sought to a 'gap fee' for injured workers needing to see a doctor and hike employer premiums by 4%.
- Icare’s board is chaired by long-time Liberal Party donor and former banker Michael Carapiet.
- Prior to icare being created, there were two people who had an average salary of $300,000. There are now 45 people with an average salary of $300,000 and the top seven executives average around $660,000. A confidential NSW Treasury briefing says "icare’s executive team is likely the highest paid in the NSW government sector".
- Icare failed to disclose 77 contracts, worth almost $157 million, within the legally required timeframe. One of these contracts was awarded to the son of an icare consultant who also holds shares in the winning company.
- A leaked document shows thefts of taxi vouchers and cash, and technology and credit card fraud. However, icare management never referred this to police.
The worker's compensation scheme and icare needs a total overhaul.
Jodi McKay tweeted, "After last night’s Four Corners and more reports today of the putrid culture infesting Dominic Perrottet’s pet agency, Labor has a simple demand of the Treasurer today: he must sack iCare’s leadership."