Small Employer Changes – NSW WorkCover Scheme

Effective 30th June 2013, WorkCover NSW introduced some changes to benefit small business. The first significant change is the increase in the “Small Employer” definition is expanded to include employers with an annualised basic tariff premium (BTP) less than or equal to $30,000 (previously $10,000). This now captures approximately 260,000 of all employers in NSW.

Claims experience (impact of claims on premium) rating has also changed in line with the above definition, meaning if an employer has an annualised BTP of less than or equal to $30,000 they will not be claims experience rated.

There were two incentives brought in with a focus on Safety & Return To Work. Firstly every small employer now receives a 10% discount up front, calculated on their BTP. This is known as the Employer Safety Incentive (ESI), the discount is payable at policy period end if a claim is made and the injured worker is unable to return to work within four weeks of the date of injury. The ESI will reset every year. The ESI encourages employers to provide a safe workplace and be proactive with WHS and injury prevention & also to lodge claims for minor injuries and incidences.

The Return To Work Incentive (RTWI) is a 10% discount received for the period if all injured workers return to work within 13 weeks from the date of injury. The RTWI encourages employers to support injured workers in a return to work plan.

Effectively, all small employers will receive a 10% discount if they’re claim free, return an employee back to work within 4 weeks of an injury or within 13 weeks of an injury.

The other changes are regarding the renewal of a premium, firstly no estimated wage declarations are required, and your premium will be renewed automatically on the expiry date. You will only need to declare the actual wages for the past 12 months via declaration. The policy will also be termed to the end of the month (if it doesn’t already); the expiry date is automatically aligned to month end prior to the current policy expiry date.

The 2014-15 renewal premiums for the deposit is based on previously declared actual wages, plus a determined adjustment factor such as CPI. If there are no actual wages available for the previous term the wage estimate is determined using the previous estimated wages plus 30%.

The timeframe for the return of the actual wages declaration has been extended to four months, if it’s not rec’d after six months the policy is nil adjusted and ultimately you will incur the 30% loading to the renewal premium.

If your policy duration is eleven months or more, you can still pay your premium by quarterly instalments if your premium is greater $1,000 or monthly instalments if your premium is greater than $5,000 however, you now receive a 5% discount for paying up front (previously 3%).

You can update your policy estimate at anytime if you have a significant change to your business activity or size of workforce by contacting your insurer or Workers Compensation Consultant.

Troy Wiseman, Principal

Workers Comp Risk Services