A string of reforms to the NSW Government’s workers compensation scheme introduced this week should make life easier for brokers and their small business clients.
Under the latest reforms to the Workers Compensation Amendments Bill 2012, employers who currently pay $10,000 or less in workers compensation premium are exempt from having their claims experience affect their premium.
The threshold will increase from $10,000 to $30,000. Suncorp-owned GIO says this means 95% of NSW employers will no longer have to be concerned about the impact of previous claims costs.
This change will provide greater certainty for small business owners when it’s time to pay for their workers compensation insurance because they will no longer risk facing a situation where high claims costs result in significant increases to their premium.
Employers will also be offered a 5% discount for paying their premium in full by the due date.
Prior to renewal, small employers will no longer be required to complete wage estimate declarations as the renewal premium will be ‘pre-set’, making the renewal process simpler.
To encourage employers to ensure injured workers return to work as quickly as possible, all employers will be given a 10% discount on the basis tariff premium of their renewed policy. If all injured workers return to their pre-injury duties within 13 weeks from the date of injury, this discount will be retained.
If any injured workers do not return to their pre-injury duties within 13 weeks from the date of injury, this discount will be recovered. GIO welcomed the changes.
“Reducing the administrative burden on small business owners and increasing certainty around premium rates will have a positive impact on this important sector of our economy,” said Jason Allison, chief workers compensation portfolio and underwriting management. “Importantly, these reforms include incentives for small employers to support injured workers to get back to sustainable employment as quickly as possible,” he added.