A reduction in workers compensation premiums is imminent for thousands of small businesses but larger businesses have to wait and see to discover if they too will benefit.
From next week, about 200,000 NSW businesses across more than 400 industries will have their WorkCover premiums cut by between 5% and 7.5% Meanwhile, Victorian premiums are set to be cut by 2% from next month.
However, larger firms affected by Industry Claims Cost Rates (ICCR) will have to wait until Friday to find out how their premiums for the year will be set. It is understood the new ICCR will be materially different to those currently in use.
NIBA CEO Dallas Booth preivously lambasted WorkCover in a recent submission to a parliamentary inquiry into the scheme’s performance and says while the reductions are welcome, there is no transparency as to how they have been reached.
“There is no market operation under this process and it also doesn’t give the employer any amount of choice,” he says.
Instead, Booth has been lobbying the NSW Government to more closely model the system on the WA set-up, which operates as a intermediated market.
NSW Minister for Finance and Services Dominic Perrottet says the State Government’s reforms have returned WorkCover NSW to financial sustainability.
“The reforms have achieved the Government’s objective of providing more support for injured workers who are unable to work, and greater incentives to return to work for those injured workers with the capacity to do so,” he says.
“More injured workers are back at work as well.
“Safe Work Australia has reported that in 2012-13, NSW’s return to work rate improved by 3% to 88% – making it higher than the national average of 86%.”