Four Corners

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“Immoral and unethical”: The financial scandal and human cost of Australia’s failing workers compensation schemes.

Workers compensation is supposed to be a safety net designed to return injured employees to the workplace and provide assistance to those so badly hurt that they can no longer hold down a job.

Australian workers are guaranteed these protections by law, but there is disturbing evidence the system is failing badly.

On Monday, reporter Adele Ferguson reveals the scandalous state of workers compensation schemes in Australia, in a joint Four Corners, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald investigation.

Billions of dollars are set aside for these compensation schemes, yet some injured workers say their lives have been ruined by insurers hell-bent on avoiding payouts.

Four Corners examines the insurance companies contracted to run Australia’s largest workers compensation schemes and the dubious methods they employ to assess claims.

While workers often lose out, the compensation business is lucrative for those operating it.

This revealing investigation will expose who the winners and losers are in the workers compensation scandal.

“Immoral and unethical”, reported by Adele Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 27th July at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 28th July at 10.00am and Wednesday 29th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iView and at

Media response

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Adele Ferguson is a Gold Walkley Award winning investigative journalist. She reports and comments on companies, markets and the economy.

Australia’s workers’ compensation system was never part of the royal commission into financial services, but it’s now clear it should have been.