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Quick answers for businesses 


Advice for small business

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WorkCover provides a range of advisory services to assist and support small businesses including:

In addition, there are a range of incentives and discounts for to help with your workers compensation premiums.

 

Employer safety incentive discount

Small employers will receive a 10 per cent Employer safety incentive discount at commencement of the policy period. Provided the employer has no workplace injury claims during the period of insurance or, where there are claims, those injured workers return to suitable work within four weeks of the date of injury, the employer will retain the discount at the hindsight premium calculation.

 

Return to work incentive discount

A 10 per cent Return to work incentive will be applied to the hindsight premium if workers injured during the policy period who do not return to suitable work within four weeks of the date of injury, but return to suitable work within 13 weeks of the date of injury.

 

Discount for premiums paid in full in advance

Small employers are entitled to receive a five per cent discount if they pay their premium in full in advance, on or before the due date and in accordance with all other conditions listed in clause 4 of the Insurance Premiums Order.

Call 13 10 50 for more information.

 


Are premiums impacted by workers compensation changes?

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The 2012 reforms to workers compensation do not impact how employer premiums are calculated.

Work capacity decisions were introduced to give insurers greater ability to drive more timely and positive return to work outcomes, which should reduce claims estimates and premiums over time.   


Chemicals business checklist

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The Chemicals business checklist features whole of system information about chemicals and plastics regulation in a simple format to direct users to ensure businesses are safe, sustainable and compliant.

The checklist is a tool to help anyone working in the chemicals and plastics industry which covers:

  • understanding chemical products
  • manufacturing, importing and exporting chemical products
  • labelling and packaging requirements
  • work health and safety requirements
  • transporting chemical products
  • disposing of chemical waste
  • chemicals of security concern and chemicals that are illicit drug precursors.

Find it at www.industry.gov.au/ChemicalsChecklist.


How do I identify suitable work?

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If you need help in identifying and providing suitable work for an injured worker, contact your insurer for assistance. They may refer you to a workplace rehabilitation provider.


How do I know if the owner can be a principal contractor?

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The Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 does not stop the owner from appointing themself as the principal contactor. See clause 293 the meaning of a principal contractor.


How do I know what is the current work health and safety legislation?

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New work health and safety (WHS) laws replaced the occupational health and safety (OHS) laws in NSW on 1 January 2012.

The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 are now in place.

Transitional arrangements have been put into place in NSW to support businesses, industry and workers to move to the new system of work health and safety (WHS) laws. These arrangements started on 1 January 2012.


How do I know what must be in the WHS management plan?

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A written WHS management plan must be prepared by the principal contractor and be site specific.  

Clause 309 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 states what must be included in the WHS management plan. 


Is my personal protective equipment (PPE) adequate?

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Designers, manufacturers or suppliers of PPE can give advice on the specifications and appropriate use of their products.

This is important because, for example, no one type of glove provides adequate protection against all chemicals. A respirator designed to be effective against medium air levels of a chemical may not be effective against high levels of the same chemical (or low levels of another chemical).

It may also be helpful to consult relevant Australian Standards.


New changes to premium rates

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Two rate reductions in workers compensation premiums were announced in 2013–2014.

 

July to December 2013 policies

The first rate reduction averaged 7.5% and applies to policies that commence or renew on or after 4pm on 30 June 2013 and before 4pm 31 December 2013.This rate cut applied to 346 industries that demonstrated improved safety and claims experience. These industries received a reduction up to 15 per cent on the 2012–2013 premium rate.  Premium rates for the remaining industries, with no improvement in safety and claims experience, remained the same as for 2012–2013.

The Industry Claims Cost Rates (ICCR) and Dust Diseases Contribution rates are unchanged from 2012–2013. Hindsight ICCRs for this period will be published at a later date when the effects of the 2012 benefits reforms are known.

 

January to June 2014 polices

The second rate reduction averaged 5% and applies to policies that commence or renew on or after 4pm 31 December 2013.  288 industries will receive a greater than 5 per cent reduction to a maximum of 7.5% and 88 industries will receive reductions up to 5 per cent. Premium rates for the remaining 149 industries, with no improvement in safety and claims experience, will remain the same as for the July–December 2013 period.

Industry Claims Cost Rates (ICCR) and Dust Diseases Contribution rates are unchanged from the July – December 2013 period.  Hindsight ICCRs for this period will be published at a later date when the effects of the 2012 benefits reforms are known.

 

Other changes commencing 30 June 2013

 

Small employer threshold

The small employer Basic tariff premium threshold has increased to $30,000 or less (for a 12 month period of insurance or equivalent, if less than 12 months). 

 

Estimated wages declarations

Small employers are no longer required to provide estimated wages declarations, except in cases such as the inception of a new policy.  Employers should contact their insurer / Scheme Agent to provide updated apprentice wages and business activity details.

 

Small employer premium calculation

 

The premium formula for small employer has been amended to include two new components:

  1. Employer safety incentive, and
  2. Return to work incentive.

 

Employer safety incentive discount

Small employers will receive a 10 per cent Employer safety incentive discount at commencement of the policy period. Provided the employer has no workplace injury claims during the period of insurance or, where there are claims, those injured workers return to suitable work within four weeks of the date of injury, the employer will retain the discount at the hindsight premium calculation.

 

Return to work incentive discount

A 10 per cent Return to work incentive will be applied to the hindsight premium if workers injured during the policy period do not return to suitable work within four weeks of the date of injury, but return to suitable work within 13 weeks of the date of injury.

 

Discount for premiums paid in full in advance

Small employers are entitled to receive a five per cent discount if they pay their premium in full in advance, on or before the due date and in accordance with all other conditions listed in clause 4 of the Insurance Premiums Order.

 

Late payment

The Late payment prescribed rate is 0.869% per month, compounded monthly.

 

Maximum excess

The maximum excess recoverable from an employer and the maximum cost of claim deduction is now $1,903.70.

 

Motor vehicle allowances

Exclusion from wages of motor vehicle allowances. The rate for motor vehicle allowance remains at $0.75 per kilometre.

 

Accomodation allowances

Exclusion from wages of accommodation allowances. The accommodation allowance is increased to $248.25.

 

Dust diseases contributions

Dust diseases contribution rates have not changed from 2012–2013, although a number of industries have moved between schedules. 

 

Mine Safety Fund

The Mine Safety Fund premium adjustment is 0.661% of wages covered under mining industry WICs.

 

Retro paid loss premium method 2013-2014

Certain large employers are approved by WorkCover to have their premiums calculated using the Retro paid loss premium method. The Insurance Premiums Order (Retro Paid Loss Premium Method) 2013–2014 applies to policies that commence or renew on or after 4pm on 30 June 2013 and includes the following amendments.

 

  1. The final adjustment date. The claims run off period for retro paid loss arrangements, after expiry of the policy period, has been reduced from four years to three years.  The formula for calculation of the deposit premium and adjusted premium has been amended to show the final adjustment date at 48 months.
  2. The method for recalculating premium for grouped employers at each adjustment date has been standardised. 

Call 13 10 50 for more information about the Premium rates, Insurance Premiums Orders or the Insurance Premiums Order (Retro-Paid Loss Premium Method).


Register an Health and Safety Representative (HSR)

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Notify WorkCover of your workplace Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) and any deputy HSRs.

The Online services tool (HSR register) provides an easy, convenient and secure way for persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) to notify and print a list of its current HSRs and deputy HSRs and their related work groups and for display at the principal place of business and any other workplaces related to the work groups.

Cal 13 10 50 for more information or visit the Health and Safety Representatives web page.


Role of inspectors in return to work

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WorkCover inspectors provide advice on returning injured workers to work and are now authorised to issue legally binding improvement notices to employers not meeting their injury management and return to work obligations.

Failure to comply with the improvement notice can attract maximum penalties of up to $11,000.


What are my obligations for providing suitable work?

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As an employer you are legally obliged to provide, when requested and where reasonably practicable, suitable work to an injured worker who has current work capacity.


Which insurers issue workers compensation policies?

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Scheme Agents or insurers issue and administer policies on behalf of WorkCover. There are seven Scheme Agents or insurers who calculate the premium by a formula determined by WorkCover. The particular industry classification attracts the same rate regardless of the Scheme Agent or insurers.

The Scheme Agents or insurers are:

 

Allianz Australia Workers' Compensation (NSW) Ltd

www.allianz.com.au
1300 130 664

 

Xchanging Integrated Services Australia Pty Ltd (trading as 'Xchanging')

www.xchanging.com.au
1800 803 905 
1800 220 352 (fax)
02 8667 9700

 

CGU Workers Compensation (NSW) Ltd

www.cgu.com.au
02 9088 9000
1300 666 506
02 9088 9000

 

Employers' Mutual Indemnity (Workers Compensation) Ltd

www.emia.com.au
1800 469 931
02 9229 7900

 

Gallagher Bassett Services Workers Compensation (NSW) Pty Ltd

www.gallagherbassett.com.au
1800 007 033 
02 8255 8500

 

GIO Workers Compensation (NSW) Ltd

www.gio.com.au 
13 10 10

 

QBE Workers Compensation (NSW) Ltd

www.qbe.com.au
1300 550 672
02 8831 0435


Worker or contractor?

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A contractor is more likely to:

  • be engaged to carry out a particular task using his or her own skill and judgement;
  • employ others, delegate or sub-let work to another;
  • be paid on the basis of a quotation for the job;
  • supply his or her own tools and materials;
  • carry on an independent business in his or her own name or under a business or firm name;
  • be affected by PAYG tax arrangements.
An employee is more likely to:
  • be subject to direction from the employer as to the work to be performed and the time and manner in which it is performed;
  • be required to actually carry out the work;
  • be paid on a time basis;
  • have tools and materials supplied by the employer;
  • work exclusively for a single employer
For more information see our Worker or contractor site.