As previously flagged, WorkCover NSW is introducing significant changes to workers’ compensation premium calculation for renewals on or after 30 June 2015. At this stage the announcements are still very much motherhood statements with the nitty gritty of calculation still to be released in the Insurance Premiums Order which we are anticipating will be released in the first week of June. It is therefore too early to say whether any particular employer will be better or worse off under the new scheme.
What we do know is:
- There will be only one rate calculation a year, with an adjustment at the end of the year based only on whether final wages were above or below the initial estimate. This will provide greater certainty for employers and reduce the number of nasty surprises come renewal.
- There is a greater focus on RTW, with additional incentives for employers to provide suitable duties and avoid wage loss. This will apply to claims occurring after the employer’s next renewal hop over to these guys.
- Claims costs will continue to impact on premium, however what is included and the mechanism for calculation is still unclear. For example, we believe that medical and investigation costs are being removed from the calculation, but are still waiting for confirmation of this.
It is clear that the focus post 30 June is going to be on getting people back to work as soon as possible, which is a philosophy WCD have long followed and become experts at, although caution must always be taken in ensuring that further harm to the worker doesn’t occur by returning them too soon.
As soon as some hard detail on how the calculation works and how it will impact employers becomes available we will provide further analysis.
In the meantime, WorkCover NSW have released the following document to explain the changes.