You may not be aware, but partnering with a Workplace Rehabilitation Provider with a proven record of facilitating safe and timely return to work is the best way to ensure that your staff are returned to work rapidly with a minimum of premium impacting lost wages. There are many benefits for NSW employers who maintain a safe workplace and support early return to work after injury occurs.
New scheme reforms were introduced in August 2015 whereby high performing employers can achieve a performance discount of between 5-20% off their premiums. About 70% of employers currently perform better than the scheme average. These employers have achieved low workers compensation claim costs through good safety systems and proactive support of injured workers resulting in early return to suitable work after an injury. (See insurancereforms.nsw.gov.au)
Under the reforms, premiums continue to be calculated based on claims costs however the medical and rehabilitation claims costs are now excluded from the calculation. The intent of this change is to ensure that workers are given rapid access to the medical and rehabilitation interventions that will support recovery and return to work. The flipside of this is that the claims costs associated with weekly payments now impact more heavily than before, with the wages bill being recouped up to three times in the premium calculation.
What does this mean for the way NSW employers manage injuries?
The core message of these reforms for employers is to promote safe workplaces through injury prevention strategies. By minimising the quantity and nature of workplace injuries, NSW employers can demonstrate improved performance against the scheme average. This message is reinforced through:
The automatic application of the Employer Safety Incentive (ESI) which provides a 10% discount off the premium with the value of this discount only being recouped in instances of a claim that results in more than 4 weeks off work.
Access to an additional 5% discount, through the Employer Safety Reward (ESR), if you are a medium to large employer and are claims free for 4 years.
What if I have a claim or several claims - what should I do?
The second intent of these reforms is to promote recovery through early access to rehabilitation and return to work. Early provision of workplace or vocational rehabilitation support with clear objectives around return to work is a great way to ensure that you qualify for the additional Return to Work Incentive (RTWI). The RTWI provides a further 5-15% off your premium where return to work has been achieved by 13, 26 or 52 weeks.
Infographic from insurancereforms.nsw.gov.au.
If you’d like to discuss how partnering with a Workplace Rehabilitation Provider can assist you to improve your systems to prevent injuries and minimise premium costs, Injury Treatment will be happy to help!
Injury Treatment is a national clinical consulting firm employing approximately 300 staff nationally, including; senior occupational therapists, physiotherapists, exercise physiologists, psychologists, rehabilitation counsellors and employment consultants.
Contact us on 1300 622 734 and talk to our customer team today.
We can provide you with consultation around safety systems, risk assessment and implementation of appropriate risk controls too. To best understand the full extent of how these reforms apply to your individual business, you can contact WorkCover NSW on 13 10 50.