An estimated 200,000 employers across New South Wales are set to benefit from a cut to WorkCover premiums, now that the scheme has returned to surplus.
Premier Barry O’Farrell and Minister for Finance and Services Andrew Constance has confirmed the scheme is back in the black for the first time since 2008.
As such employers are likely to benefit from an average rate cut of 5 per cent, saving some $130 million across 376 industries year-on-year.
Premier O’Farrell said the reforms are intended to deliver a fairer system, generous payments to severely injured workers, and incentivise employers to improve workplace safety.
According to the Government, combined with the average 7.5 per cent rate cut that came in earlier this year, 167,000 employers across the state will receive an average 12.5 per cent rate reduction in the 2013 premium cycle.
The premier said that as a result of the changes to the scheme, no employer would receive a rate increase in 2013.
Safe Work Australia has reported that in 2012/13, NSW’s return to work rate improved by 3 per cent to 88 per cent. The national average currently sits at 86 per cent.
As at 30 June 2013, the WorkCover scheme has accumulated a surplus of $309 million.
Incentives introduced in June relevant to small employers include:
- An Employer Safety Incentive (ESI) premium discount at each policy renewal.
- A Return to Work Incentive for employers who have an injury in the workplace. An employer can retain their ESI discount provided injured workers return to work within 13 weeks
- An increased discount to 5 per cent for paying the premium in full by the due date.