COMPARISON OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION ARRANGEMENTS
Premium Discount Scheme
The Premium Discount Scheme (PDS), implemented on 30 June 2001, was designed to provide incentives for NSW
employers to improve their occupational health and safety and injury management practices. Under the Premium
Discount Scheme, employers earn a discount when an approved Premium Discount Adviser verifies that their safety
and injury management systems meet specified benchmarks. The Scheme has exceeded employer take up
expectations, delivering a total of $21 million in rebates to 865 employers $13 million more than initial projections.
Approximately 100 employers achieved the maximum possible discount of $75,000 in the first year.
During 2001, WorkCover established four injury management pilot projects. The aim of the pilots was to identify
and promote best practice in injury management. The pilot providers developed strategies to ensure appropriate,
cost effective and high quality services for injured workers, for the benefit of all stakeholders in the system. As a
result of the pilots, insurers have commenced integrating the case management model into their daily operations.
The independent pilot evaluation will enable WorkCover to:
Set performance measures and remuneration rates for insurers
Set service standards, administrative arrangements and fee levels for service providers
Develop improved arrangements for employers providing suitable duties to injured workers, and
Develop information and education campaigns to promote better health care and facilitate return to work of
In addition, the pilot evaluation will also be considered as part of the wider Scheme Design Review.
WorkCover also conducted a pilot program to improve the medical management of workers with acute back pain.
The pilot consisted of two components the first was research into available clinical guidelines and their use by
general practitioners, and the second was the development of draft educational materials for the management of
low back pain. The pilot was a success and, as a result, the Minister has recently announced the launch of a
statewide education program for NSW general practitioners.
The Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2000 introduced a number of significant amendments that
will enhance compliance within workers' compensation. These amendments include:
Introduction of a new broad fraud provision, which enables WorkCover to prosecute any person who has
committed an act of fraud against the WorkCover Scheme
Extension of liability for premium debt to directors of corporations
Recovery of audit costs from employers who have under declared their wages by 25 per cent or more
Charging employers interest on avoided premium due to under declaration of wages
New provisions governing the issuance and inspection of Certificates of Currency
Increased penalties for non insurance, failure to maintain or provide wages records, failure to produce a policy,
and failure to comply with direction from a WorkCover inspector
Power to exercise a search warrant, and
Amendment to clarify that an employer is prohibited from taking or receiving money from a worker for the
purposes of paying the employer's workers' compensation insurance.
WorkCover has also introduced sophisticated data mining technology. The technology will significantly enhance
WorkCover's capacity to undertake data modelling and will underpin the development of WorkCover's compliance
risk management system.
Heads of Workers' Compensation Authorities 50