Since 2012, the WorkCover NSW Scheme has introduced a number of reforms to workers compensation premiums to make it easier to do business in New South Wales. WorkCover NSW Chief Executive Officer, Vivek Bhatia, said following the success of premium reforms for small businesses in 2013, similar reforms would be rolled out across medium and large businesses from 30 June. These reforms were deemed to be critical given that there are over 15,000 medium to large employers in NSW employing over 2.6 million workers (approximately 75% of all NSW workers) placing these businesses at the heart of the State’s economy.
Mr Bhatia explained that “Safer workplaces are better for workers and increase productivity yielding better economic returns for NSW. Importantly, our new approach rewards employers that value and promote worker safety with lower premiums”. Additionally, WorkCover openly recognised the challenge of individuals recovering within the workplace but linked with the fundamental findings from the health benefits of work statement identifying that around 85% of workers with an injury who return to and recover at work within the first 13 weeks remain at work. WorkCover decided the most suitable methodology would be to consider all employers through a matter of experience (4 years claims history) and to have risk ratings completed on an annual basis at premium renewal through a Claim Performance Rate (see below).
Accordingly, WorkCover NSW have transitioned into their newly positioned workers compensation reforms for medium to large businesses and noted the key premise for these changes included:
- Simpler, easier to understand premiums that provide certainty for medium and large businesses
- Changes to the premium calculation formula
- Improved workplace safety and employer support for workers with an injury
- Reducing red tape for employers and helping to save employers money and increase productivity
Ultimately, employers are being held accountable for their past by WorkCover and maximising their positive experiences at premium renewal time will be dependent on the extent to which they have improved upon past performances and the scheme average. The challenge now exists for NSW employers to consider ways that they can actively reduce lost time injuries within their workplace and produce a first class safety culture that is striving for continual improvement.
What considerations has your business made? What actions will you be taking to improve your premium renewal experiences under the new reforms?
If you’re unsure give us a call on (02) 9532 0988 and we can assist with an obligation free conversation with respect to some options that could be considered.
Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at www.workcover.nsw.au
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