Workcover premiums in NSW are set to fall by an average of 5% for 200,000 employers; and workcover premiums in Victoria are also be reduced by 2% in July… but guess who will cover the costs of these savings? Injured workers, further stripped from medical benefits and weekly payments!
Workcover NSW and Vic to fall at the expense of injured workers
Both the profitable NSW and Vic WorkCover schemes are benefiting employers, but are badly failing injured workers. In NSW thousands of injured workers had been stripped of medical benefits and weekly compensation payments despite a surge in the profitability of the WorkCover NSW scheme. In Victoria, WorkCover disputes have dramatically increased, including claims over injured workers payments.
Companies to pay less in Work Cover premiums under budget changes
Work Cover premiums will fall by an average of 5 per cent for 200,000 employers as a result of state government changes to the workers compensation scheme, its own forecasts show.
Treasurer Andrew Constance said NSW businesses would save more than $113 million a year as a result of changes to the scheme introduced in 2012 that slashed benefits to injured workers, including amputees and people with industrial deafness in need of hearing aids.
Mr Constance said the reductions in premiums were on top of reductions of 12.5 per cent delivered last year.
The NSW government this year announced a $1.3 billion surplus in the NSW Workers Compensation Scheme, driven by investment returns of $690 million.
Before it reformed the scheme, the government claimed it was facing a $4 billion deficit that threatened to push up premiums by 28 per cent, putting more than 12,000 jobs at risk.
”Work Cover premiums have now been cut by 17.5 per cent, however the NSW government has not provided a single cent of this windfall to workers struggling to survive after suffering debilitating injuries at work,” Mr Lennon said.
Employers to pocket $40 million from WorkCover Vic premium reduction
Herald Sun – 18 June 2014
By Annia Smethurst
Victorian employers will benefit from a reduction in average WorkCover premiums from July, saving businesses $40 million.
More than 100,000 Victorian employers will benefit from the 2 per cent reduction, which builds on a 3 per cent cut delivered in 2012.
And employers who pay annual premiums by August will receive an additional 5 per cent discount.
Premier Denis Napthine announced the changes at a Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry business leaders lunch on Wednesday.
He said the premium reduction would provide “huge benefits and huge incentives for businesses in Victoria”.
“Employing people is very important for Victorians and for the Victorian economy,” Dr Napthine said.
“More than 75 per cent of employers will benefit from stable or lower premiums as a result of this cut, with 115,883 businesses paying less for their premiums.”
He said the saving was delivered through “good financial management” and “reductions in the level of injuries in our workplaces.”
“Taking a preventative approach produces positive outcomes for safer workplaces so our workers benefit but also businesses benefit through reduction in costs and reductions in premiums,” Dr Napthine said.
“Injured workers being denied payments are actually paying for these employer reductions,” Mr Lewin said.
He said the State Government would benefit from the premium cut as departments and agencies paid millions of dollars a year in WorkCover premiums.