After a difficult year of scandals, icare NSW has announced plans to increase workers' compensation premiums twice in the next two years, but stresses it will continue to provide discounts to employers with strong WHS and return-to-work records.
NSW has introduced a new workers' compensation incentive regime to ensure medium-to-large employers with good safety and return-to-work records contribute no more than a third of the total premium pool.
NSW's workers' comp overhaul Bills have passed Parliament, with amendments that ensure emergency workers receive the benefits of the changes and the Dust Diseases Board continues to fund research into disease prevention and treatment.
The NSW workers' compensation scheme is being overhauled to provide safe employers with premium discounts of up to 20 per cent, restore a number of worker benefits that were scrapped in 2012, speed up the dust diseases claim process, and replace WorkCover with three separate agencies.
NSW workers' comp premiums have plummeted by an average of 17 per cent over the last two years, but injured workers have paid for these cuts, with thousands going without medical treatment or being forced onto Centrelink benefits, according to a union-commissioned Macquarie University study.