Workplace Risk
With the 2021/22 financial year just around the corner, there are changes set to take place for Workers’ Compensation schemes around the country. To keep you up to date, we have compiled the latest legislative updates by State and Territory, outlined the key information you need to know, and included practical actions you can take to set your business and employees up for success in the year ahead.

 

STATE UPDATES

VIC

The claim experience period for 2021/22 will be three years from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2020. However, the last 12 months of that experience period (claims received between 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020), will NOT have a statistical claims estimate (SCE) applied, or any medical and like expenses included. Furthermore, only actual weekly compensation payments will be used. This will have an impact on the premium payable for 2021/22 with reductions likely to occur, however, the full impact of SCE costs will be realised in 2022/23.

The average industry premium rate for 2021/22 will remain unchanged at 1.27%. Premium capping will also remain at 30% to limit any year-on-year rate increases.

  • VIC Premium notices for 2021/22 are expected to be available from 5 July 2021 and revised notices will be generated by Worksafe each weekend thereafter.
  • A 5% discount will be available for upfront premium payments made by 31 August 2021.
  • A 3% discount will be available for upfront premium payments made by 1 October 2021.
  • Payment by instalments will be available for all transactions after 1 October 2021.
  • Actual wages declarations are due 30 days after renewal.

TO DO: ENSURE REMUNERATION DETAILS ARE CURRENT 

Any wage updates received before 30 June 2021 will be reflected in the 2021/22 premium calculation. Otherwise, WorkSafe calculates the premium based on the remuneration estimate for 2020/21, indexed by 4.75%. You must certify your Rateable Remuneration by 22 October 2021 for the 2020/21 policy period.

To avoid potential financial penalty, you will need to provide a revised remuneration estimate within 28 days, if, at any time, you become aware that: 
  • Your remuneration has increased by more than 20% from the previous estimate, or
  • What you have paid in remuneration to date is greater than your current estimate for the whole financial year.

To update your remuneration or any other policy details, please visit WorkSafe’s Online Employer Services portal or seek advice from your Honan Workplace Risk Consultant.

 

NSW

During the 30 June 2020 renewal period, icare excluded JobKeeper payments from premium calculations and held off passing on proposed industry rate increases. This year, however, icare is reviewing its position.

icare has announced premium increases ranging from 1.40% – 1.44% of wages for 2021/22, with the intent to increase this year-on-year for the next two years. For employers who struggled during COVID-19 or have experienced an increase in claims costs, this may have significant impacts on premiums. Many employers in NSW had a similar experience in 2016 when icare introduced its new premium methodology, resulting in premium increases of more than 30%.

  • NSW Premium notices for 2021/22 are expected to be received within 4 weeks from June 30 (or the Employer renewal date) and will renew automatically based on prior-year estimates with indexation applied.
  • Depending on the size of the employer, discounts of up to 5% will be available for upfront premium payments made within 1 month of the invoice date.
  • Payment by instalments available, subject to terms.
  • Actual wages due 30 days after renewal.

 

QLD

Changes to premiums are not expected in QLD for 2021/22.

Average premium rates were unchanged in 2020/21 at $1.20 per $100 of wages paid. Workcover QLD has not raised the average premium rate since 2015, which continues to provide stability for QLD businesses.

  • QLD Premium notices for 2021/22 are issued once the actual wages from 2020/21 are submitted.
  • Discounts of 5% will be available for upfront premium payments made before 13 September 2021.
  • Payment by instalments available, subject to terms.

 

SA

Since the introduction of the Return-to-Work Scheme in 2015, the average premium paid by South Australian businesses has reduced from 2.75% to an all-time low of 1.65%, with the Scheme fully funded. Despite the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ReturnToWorkSA Board kept the 2020-21 premium rate at this record-low rate and actively supported SA businesses by deciding to exclude Job Keeper payments from premium calculations.

Despite improving return to work performance in 2020-21, a higher number of claims are meeting the serious injury threshold than expected. The additional support and services provided to this group significantly increased Scheme costs. With increased cost pressure it is now necessary to increase the average premium rate to 1.70% for 2021-22.

  • SA Premium notices for 2021/22 are issued after the actual wages from 2020/21 are submitted. These are due by 17 September 2021.
  • Actual wages can be used to calculate deposit premium for 2021/22, removing the requirement for wage estimate submissions.
  • No discounts are available for early or upfront payments.
  • Payment by instalments available, subject to terms.

 

 

RISK STATES & TERRITORIES

WA

Workcover WA has confirmed a 4% increase in the 2021/22 recommended premium rates for compulsory workers’ compensation insurance.

This translates to 1.70% of total wages (up from 1.64% the previous year).

 

ACT

Changes have occurred to the ACT State levy. The levy will now be 2.80% for all policies commencing on or after 1 July 2021.

 

TAS

Changes have occurred to the Tasmanian Asbestos levy. The levy will now be 2.50% for all policies commencing on or after 1 July 2021.

 

NT

No changes. Stamp duty remains at 11% of coverage extensions (Common Law or Principles Indemnity)

  • Terms negotiated before the Client renewal date.
  • Premium to be paid within 14 days of receipt of invoice.
  • Payment by instalments available, subject to terms.
  • Actual wages are due 31 July 2021 for all accounts renewing on 30 June.

 

PREMIUM FUNDING

You may wish to consider a premium funding arrangement with Honan. The arrangement can involve financing the full payment as a lump sum, typically over a series of 6 – 10 instalments, to save upfront costs and give you access to discounts (where available).

Some points to note:

  • Financials are required for all loans over $150,000 (Management Accounts FY21 and Audited Financials FY20)
  • Clients will receive the maximum benefit in VIC, NSW, and QLD:
  • Worksafe VIC will provide a 5% discount if the premium is paid by 31 August 2021, or a 3% discount if paid by 1 October 2021
  • In NSW, icare will provide a 5% discount if the premium is paid within 1 month of the invoice being issued.
  • Workcover QLD will provide a 5% discount if the premium is paid by 17 September 2021

 

HAVE YOU REVIEWED YOUR INDUSTRY CLASSIFICATION?

Premiums are largely influenced by the industry classification of your business. If the industry classification is incorrect on your policy, you may be paying considerably more in premium than necessary. Honan can assist with the re-classification, please contact us using the below details to discuss further.

 

CERTIFICATE OF CURRENCY

If there is no outstanding premium to pay on your account, you can obtain a Certificate of Currency now, either online, directly from your insurer, or by requesting this from Honan.

 

WITH YOU ALL THE WAY

As always, the Honan Workplace Risk team is available to assist you.  Feel free to reach out at any time.

 

 

Sharon Rutherford

Head of Risk Consulting

sharon.rutherford@honan.com.au

 

Jules Paolino 

Workplace Risk Consultant 

jules.paolino@honan.com.au

 

 

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