The McGowan Labor Government has today introduced to Parliament historic legislation for a Police Compensation Scheme.
Premier Mark McGowan and Police Minister Paul Papalia were joined by WA Police Union Acting President Mick Kelly at State Parliament for the occasion.
The scheme has been specifically tailored for police, and ensures there is no reduction to existing in-service and post-service entitlements for work-related illness or injury.
Under the scheme, medically retired officers will be eligible for lump sum payments capped at $239,179 and, in certain circumstances, the cap could increase by $179,384 to $418,563.
Usually, the lump sum payment will comprise an impairment payment and salary amount of up to twelve months’ pre-retirement salary.
There will also be a payment of $16,743 for vocational support and retraining.
The caps and vocational rehabilitation payment are linked to State workers’ compensation payments and indexed annually.
Officers who receive compensation will continue to have medicines and medical treatment costs covered under the current post-service medical benefits scheme.
The Bill fulfils an election promise and achieves what no Government has been able to do before – introduce a compensation scheme for medically retired police.
It’s the final piece in a suite of initiatives to support medically retired officers that have been delivered by the McGowan Labor Government including:
- a $16 million redress scheme with payments of up to $150,000 to acknowledge the circumstances and treatment of some former medically retired officers;
- reforms to the Police Act to ensure a separate and more dignified process for medical retirement; and
- introduction of legislation into Parliament for a Police compensation scheme.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“Every day, brave police officers put their lives on the line on behalf of the community of Western Australia.
“They deserve our support if they are injured or become ill and can no longer continue to serve as a police officer.
“For more than a century, there hasn’t been a compensation scheme for WA’s medically retired police officers.
“I made a promise to the police officers of this state that my Government would fix that and today I’m proud we are introducing this historic legislation into the Parliament.”
As stated by Police Minister Paul Papalia:
“We ask a lot of our police; we ask them to run towards danger when others would run away; they attend terrible scenes and see things most people could not bear to see.
“What we don’t always see is the impact their service can have on them.
“For some it leads to work-related injuries and illness which mean they can no longer continue to serve as a police officer.
“I’m proud to be part of a Government that supports our police officers and recognises the profession with the respect and dignity it deserves.”
As stated by WA Police Union Acting President Mick Kelly:
“The McGowan Government’s introduction of its police compensation scheme bill into Parliament is a landmark moment for the health and safety of Western Australia’s police officers and their families.
“The scheme, coupled with the McGowan Government’s changes to the medical retirement process, will give financial and educational support to police officers who are injured in the line of duty and consequently are unable to continue serving our community.
“Thanks to the McGowan Government, which voiced its support for such a scheme before it secured office, medically retired police officers will be able to not only end their service with dignity and an exit payment but also receive monies towards vocational retraining.
“The WA Police Union commend the McGowan Government for recognising the plight of our members, acting with compassion and righting the wrongs of many years of neglect.”