COMPARISON OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION ARRANGEMENTS
Seasonal workers injured in the off season have improved access to weekly compensation
The spouse of a worker who dies in an accident can apply to receive weekly compensation as a commuted
payment or series of payments
People who are injured while on unpaid parental leave are eligible for weekly compensation from the date they
would have resumed working, if the injury prevents this
Employers fund the costs of compensation for loss of earnings in the first week, if the injury was work related
but also involved a motor vehicle. Under the prior Act, compensation was not payable in these circumstances
Prosthetics and dentures damaged in the course of an accident are covered
Prior legislation provided for the Corporation to assess a claimant's capacity for work, once rehabilitation had
been completed. This provision has been substantially revised to introduce a vocational independence process
that focuses on a comprehensive assessment of vocational rehabilitation goals and needs before agreeing to a
rehabilitation plan, then a review of progress once the plan has been completed.
NEW SOUTH WALES
Over the past two years, major reforms have been made to the workers' compensation system in NSW. These
reforms include an emphasis on injury management and return to work strategies, improved dispute resolution
mechanisms, a focus on compliance measures, the introduction of a Premium Discount Scheme and removal of
cross subsidies in premium rates.
The aim of the NSW Government's comprehensive reform plan is to:
Improve injury treatment and management processes to increase injury recovery
Prevent disputes through improved claims management and assessment processes
Develop a fair, flexible and efficient dispute resolution process
Increase incentives within the premium system
Achieve better outcomes using industry based Schemes and self insurance, and
Develop strategies to improve compliance.
The three phase plan was to be implemented over a number of years. Phase One concentrated on renewing the
focus of the WorkCover Scheme on injury management, and improving compliance. Phase Two addressed, among
other things, the issues of claims, commutations, and dispute resolution, and Phase Three is a broader review of
The aim of the reform was to have a well designed, sustainable Scheme that offers a systematic approach to health,
safety and workers' compensation, is fair and affordable, and ultimately, improves injury outcomes.
New Industrial Classification System
WorkCover is committed to gradually removing cross subsidies in the WorkCover premium rating system, so that
employers with safer workplaces and good injury management practices are rewarded with lower premiums. In July
2001, NSW moved from a 100 tariff classification system to the WorkCover Industry Classification (WIC) system,
which contains more than 500 categories for premium rating. Although WIC is based on the Australian Bureau of
Statistics' (ABS) Australian and New Zealand Industry Classification (ANZSIC) structure, WorkCover has extensively
modified the structure to better match the known risk. The new rating structure:
Improves the rating of employers by providing a more accurate classification of the true risk level
Reduces cross subsidisation from better performing industries to poor performing ones
Increases the incentives for industries to improve their occupational health and safety and return to work
Maintains the insurance value of the Scheme for small employers and industries.
The 2002/03 basic tariff rates for the 2002/03 policy year have been capped to mitigate the impact of rate
movements. The maximum increase was capped at 15 per cent, and the maximum decrease was 0.2 per cent.
Heads of Workers' Compensation Authorities 49