The State Government has released its proposed overhaul of WA’s workers’ compensation legislation, which includes increased caps on medical expenses and extensions of payments to injured workers.
The Bill follows a 2014 review of the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 and will be supported by a three-month public consultation period ending in November 2021.
Amongst the range of amendments the Bill seeks to:
- increase the cap on medical and health expenses compensation from 30 per cent to 60 per cent. WorkCover estimates that will increase premiums by between 0.63 and 1.4 per cent;
- extend the point at which a worker’s income compensation payments step down, from 13 to 26 weeks. WorkCover estimates that will increase premiums by 1.63 per cent.
- implements lifetime care and support arrangements for catastrophically injured workers.
The average recommended Workers’ Compensation premium rate is currently 1.704 per cent of total wages – a 4 per cent increase on the 2020-21 recommended rate. Premiums paid by employers vary based on a range of factors, including industry and claim history.
CCIWA Principal Workplace Relations Advocate Paul Moss said changes to workers’ compensation rules that lead to increased premiums could be detrimental to business.
“We are particularly concerned about changes that will result in increased premiums, where they are not balanced by changes that will result in savings in other areas,” he said.
CCIWA was significantly involved in the 2014 review and our experts are currently reviewing the Bill to consider its overall impact on WA businesses.
We will provide members with further information on the proposed changes and seek your feedback on what they mean for your organisation.
Read about how WA’s current worker’s compensation rules affect your business in our members-only Business Toolbox page.
For advice about workers’ compensation matters, contact CCIWA’s Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660 or [email protected].