04:57 pm, Tuesday 2 April, 2013
The main public sector union in Australia has stated that increased pressure in the workplace has meant that the workers’ compensation claims by federal public servants naming psychological injuries have increased.
The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) representative said yesterday that this is not a surprise as a review of Comcare revealed that there was a 30 percent increase in claims for mental stress and that is was four times more likely that they would come from the public service than other areas.
Peter Hanks QC, a Melbourne barrister who reviewed Comcare said that these claims may be the result of government-enforced efficiency dividends, constant performance evaluations and changing workplaces were meaning additional stresses for public service workers.
He said that it could be that poor management is also a factor in the increase in psychological injuries as many talked about bullying and harassment in their claims.
Mr Hanks and co-author Allen Hawke, a former Defence Department chief, included 147 recommendations in their Comcare review and the union supports working through these recommendations to ensure that the serious issues receive the consideration that the need.
CPSU national secretary Nadine Flood said that they did not support rehabilitation and returning people to the workforce but not people losing rights and entitlements.