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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.


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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Premium rates for policy period 2014-2015 have been reduced by an average of five per cent and apply to policies that commence or renew on or after 30 June 2014. Reductions up to 7.5 per cent have now been applied to premium rates of 414 better performing industries.

Industry Claims Cost Rates (ICCR1) for the initial premium calculation have changed.


Changes to experience-adjusted premium calculation


Premium caps for experience-adjusted employers have been expanded. Six levels of premium caps will apply to premiums of medium and large employers for new or renewing policies commencing 30 June 2014.


Late payment


The late payment prescribed rate is 0.845% per month, compounded monthly.


Maximum excess


The maximum excess recoverable from an employer and the maximum cost of claim deduction is now $1948.80.


Motor vehicle allowances


Exclusion from wages of motor vehicle allowances. The rate for motor vehicle allowance is $0.77 per kilometre.


Accommodation allowances


Exclusion from wages of accommodation allowances. The accommodation allowance is increased to $250.85.


Dust diseases contributions


Dust Diseases Contribution rates have not changed from 2013–2014, although a number of industries have moved between schedules.


Mine Safety Fund


The Mine Safety Fund premium adjustment is 0.607% of wages covered under mining industry WICs.


Retro paid loss premium method 2014-2015


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) 2014–2015 applies to policies that commence or renew on or after 4pm on 30 June 2014 and includes the following amendment:

  • The maximum premium cap has been expanded to three times the Basic Tariff Premium.

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


Other changes commencing 30 June 2014


Extended instalment option


For policies commencing 30 June 2014 there is a new three month instalment option for end of policy period adjustment premiums greater than $1000.


Grouping threshold


The grouping wage threshold has been increased to $750,000 to align with the Office of State Revenue (OSR).


Actual wage declarations


The time period to report actual wages has increased from two to four months after your policy expires.


 



Recover at work incentives and support for employers

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There are financial incentives and support programs for employers who take an active role in their worker’s recovery at work following a workplace injury or illness.

Under NSW workers compensation legislation, employers have an obligation to support their worker to return to and where possible, to recover at work.

More information is available in the Employer incentives fact sheet or call 13 10 50.  


Register a 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.


Workers compensation insurance for NSW employers

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The new Workers compensation insurance – A guide for NSW employers provides an overview of workers compensation insurance for NSW employers and will help you to better understand how your insurance works.