|Issue No 39||12 November 1999|
Jockeys Bucked On Compo
Hundreds of jockeys in New South Wales are working without workers compensation coverage while training horses.
The Australian Workers Union is campaigning to improve the provisions of the Workers Compensation Act to ensure jockeys who perform work away from a registered race track have access to workers compensation in case of injury.
Currently under schedule 1 of the Workers Compensation Act jockeys are deemed employees of the race club where they are riding for the purposes of workers compensation. This covers riding in races and track work. However jockeys are not covered if they perform work outside a registered race track.
The AWU claims this is a problem in rural and regional areas as many jockeys are forced to perform work away from the track to secure race rides. The AWU believes it is totally unsatisfactory to have jockeys working and not being covered by workers compensation, and is seeking to expand the coverage of the Act.
The issue came to the unions attention after two jockeys in rural areas were seriously injured performing work away from the track , and had claims for workers compensation rejected.
AWU racing industry organiser Matt Thistlewaite says the AWU has commenced consultations with industry representatives through the NSW Workers Compensation Advisory Council but was facing resistance.
" It is absolutely ridiculous in this day and age to have a group of workers in a dangerous occupation, without workers compensation coverage. The AWU will not cop anything less than full coverage for NSW jockeys," Thistlewaite says.
"Unfortunately the NSW Thoroughbred Racing Board are resisting the proposed amendments, but that is nothing unusual. We will be fighting at all levels of government, and in the public to ensure this amendment gets up. Jockeys deserve the same coverage at work as any other worker and we will settle for nothing less."
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005