Figures recently released in the WorkSafe Victoria half-yearly report shows a whopping profit of $94 million in the six month period between July 2014 and December 2014. The figures also demonstrate that Victoria no longer offers employers the lowest premium in Australia, with Queensland now offering the cheapest premiums in Australia.
The huge $94 million profit demonstrates that the Victorian work-over scheme is financially “viable”, however we do seriously wonder why all that money is not being reinvested /used to help and support Victorian injured workers. Where does this money go?
Under the Victorian WorkCover system, injured workers are entitled to medical expenses, weekly payments for their lost earnings, and lump sum compensation if their injury is permanent.
The rate of injuries in Victorian workplaces has reached a new record low, according to the half-yearly results released today by WorkSafe Victoria.
As of 31 December 2014 there were 7.32 claims per million hours worked (MHW) in Victorian workplaces, a reduction on the 7.37 claims per MHW recorded at the end of 2013/14.
The results were released to key stakeholders by Finance Minister Robin Scott MP (who is the Vic WorkCover Minister), acting chair John Walter and acting chief executive Clare Amies at a briefing at the State Library of Victoria.
In his address to stakeholders representing unions, employer groups and peak body associations Minister Scott highlighted the need for further improvements in workplace safety.
“Generally workers in Victoria are safer than they have ever been, but still too many have been killed or seriously injured,” Mr Scott said.
“And when it comes to support for those injured workers who have been unable to return to work, we must do more to get them back to work.”
Ms Amies said that the workplace safety regulator remains in a financially sustainable position.
“WorkSafe recorded a performance from insurance operations (PFIO) result of $94 million and a net result after tax of $104 million,” she said. (oh really?)
“The financial results have been influenced by strong markets, prevailing economic conditions and a higher than forecast increase in liabilities.”
Ms Amies said the increase in forecast liabilities was a key driver of the PFIO result.
“Our ability to provide quality workplace injury insurance protection for Victorian employers and workers relies on maintaining a scheme with an efficient cost structure and a healthy balance sheet,” she said.
“And we want to ensure that premiums remain competitive with other jurisdictions.
“These results tell us WorkSafe is still in a very good position to deliver on those objectives.”
Ms Amies said Victorian workers and employers had once again demonstrated that Victoria is leading the way in workplace safety.
“Our results show that there has been further improvements in safety in Victoria, which is a real credit to Victorian workplaces and their continued efforts to make a culture of safety a key priority,” Ms Amies said.
“Our aim is for Victoria to maintain the best workplace safety and workplace injury insurance scheme in the country, and so far we have made excellent progress towards those targets.”