12-month report shows improvements in support for injured workers

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Finance and Services Minister Dominic Perrottet and Small Business Minister John Barilaro on Tuesday have revealed that small business employers and workers are greatly benefitting from changes to workers compensation scheme making NSW a safer and more productive place to work.

According to recent data, there were improvements across the board for the first 12 months since reforms were introduced. Better support for injured workers, reductions in red tape and more workers returning to the workforce has been noted.

“These reforms have been aimed at making premiums fairer, more affordable and easier to understand for employers and stakeholders,” Mr Perrottet said.

“Importantly these reforms created real incentives for business to encourage safe return or recovery at work for injured workers. All the evidence shows that when employers stay connected to their workers and support their recovery it is good for workers, good for business and good for the economy.”

The report shows:

  • A 15 per cent reduction in claims and injuries for small employers.
  • The return to work rate has improved by five per cent from 82 to 87 per cent. The improvements in small employers return to work rates have been the highest across all sectors of the Scheme.
  • Employer paperwork has been reduced by 50 per cent meaning less administration so employers can focus on running their business.
  • $10.4 million in administrative savings has been identified per year by cutting red tape; and
  • Disputes and appeals have been dramatically reduced as reforms have made premiums easier to understand and the customer experience improved.

Mr Barilaro said the results of the report shows how the government is doing its best to improve the work environment for small businesses.

“These new measures have created a safe and efficient working environment that improves outcomes for small businesses and their employees,” he said. “The reforms are simpler and clearer and unshackle small businesses from unnecessary regulatory burdens.

“The positive flow-on effect of getting skilled workers back into the workplace sooner is a reduction in the costs of claims and premiums, which in turn means less strain on business, jobs and the workers compensation system.”

Mr Perrottet said WorkCover will be looking for ways to improve the scheme.

“These excellent results show that WorkCover is delivering on its commitment to make NSW a better place to employ people and a safer place to work, boosting productivity,” Mr Perrottet said.

“The NSW Government is serious about being a partner with business in improving worker health and safety. It has provided more than $70 million of financial support through the introduction of the Employer Safety Incentive in June 2013 to encourage NSW small employers to focus on safety in the workplace.

“The NSW Government will now consider how it can drive similar improvements for medium and large businesses and their workers in future.”

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