Reduction in WorkCover Premiums in Victoria = Good News for Business

Health and safetyI have just been copied in on a media release from the Assistant Treasurer of Victoria, The Hon Gordon Rich-Phillips MLC. Two things caught my attention. The first was that the Victorian Government announced a two per cent reduction to WorkCover premiums for 2014/15, which will save Victorian businesses $40 million a year and see the average WorkCover premium fall to 1.72 per cent of payroll.

As an employer myself, this is good news and I live for the day that Payroll Tax is abolished.

The other significant reform mentioned in the Release by the Victorian Coalition Government is the new Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act, (” WIRC Act”, which was passed by parliament in October 2013 and comes into effect from today.

The claim made by the Government is that both employees and employers will find the new legislation easier to use and understand. Having said this, there is no change to employer rights and obligations in respect to insurance under the WIRC Act, nor is there any changes in regard to how premium is calculated.

From 1 July 2014, employers will no longer be required to take out a WorkCover Insurance Policy. Instead, they will be required to register with the Victorian WorkCover Authority (VWA) to be covered by WorkCover insurance. Employers who have a current WorkCover Insurance Policy will be automatically registered for premium purposes, from 1 July 2014.

The WIRC Act introduces a right for employers to seek review of their premium notices at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal if they are dissatisfied with VWA’s review decision. This right complements the existing right employers have to seek review in the Supreme Court.

For a full copy of the Press Release click here.

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