COMPARISON OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION ARRANGEMENTS
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE CURRENT AND PROPOSED PREMIUM SYSTEMS
Current system
Proposed system
Premium based on individual employer's 
Premium based on industry rate
prior rate
Claims estimates based on agent's estimate 
Claims estimates based on statistical model
and F factors
Up to 90% of large employer's premium 
Up to 100% of large employer's premium 
based on actual recent experience
based on actual recent experience
Buy out option available to all employers at 
Cheaper buy out option available to 
additional 25% of premium
small employers
Premium calculated in two stages: initial 
Single premium rate calculated for the 
and confirmed
year
Industry rates consolidated into 18 bands
Each industry will have its own rate
 One size fits all  scheme
More choice for employers, eg a Group 
Rebate program; voluntary excess 
option, so that large employers can take 
on more of their risk
To ensure that any changes to the premium system are understood and successfully implemented, it is essential
that the VWA actively consults with key stakeholders, such as employer groups and unions. This communications
process is well under way, with more tailored information packages due for release and comment over the coming
months. An information pack is available now on the VWA web site. 
ACT
As commented on in the `Recent Developments' section of this document, the ACT Workers Compensation Act
1951 was significantly amended during 2001 with the amended Act commencing operation on 1 July 2002.  This is
the first comparison that reflects the changed nature and operation of the scheme.
Key to the changes has been a refocusing of the scheme on early reporting, early intervention and return to work.
The aim of the changes is to reduce the duration of claims whilst properly supporting injured workers via an
improved benefits structure.
Important changes have been made to the process of making a claim.  Specifically, the reporting of an injury is
now the trigger for action by employers and insurers, not the lodgement of a claim.  There has been a deliberate
separation between making a claim and reporting an injury.  This change is to assist insurers and employers to
take action on injuries when they occur.  
The payment of compensation or expenses before the determination of liability is not an admission of liability by
the insurer or employer.
While unrestricted access to common law claims has been maintained, the ability of an injured worker to access
lump sum payments is dependant on their return to work or two years having passed between the date of injury
and the lodgement of a claim for lump sum payment.
The amendments also created a new advisory committee.  The committee is made up of representatives from
scheme participants.  The committee is chaired by the Master of the ACT Supreme Court, and has representatives
from unions, insurers, employers, rehabilitation providers, medical practitioners, legal practitioners and ACT
WorkCover.  The role of the committee is to advise the Minister on the ongoing operation of the scheme and the
development of regulations.
Heads of Workers' Compensation Authorities  57
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