04/05/2006 - 13:51

Workers’ compensation premium rates drop 8.6%

04/05/2006 - 13:51

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Acting Minister for Employment Protection John Kobelke today announced an overall decrease of 8.6 per cent in average recommended premium rates for compulsory workers' compensation insurance.

Workers’ compensation premium rates drop 8.6%

Acting Minister for Employment Protection John Kobelke today announced an overall decrease of 8.6 per cent in average recommended premium rates for compulsory workers' compensation insurance.

"The average recommended premium rate in Western Australia will fall from 2.317 per cent of payroll for 2005-06 to 2.117 per cent for 2006-07," Mr Kobelke said.

Recommended premium rates are set by WorkCoverWA based on the performance of the workers' compensation scheme.

"A major factor in the reduction in recommended rates was the stability in the number of claims at a time of significant growth in employment in Western Australia," the Acting Minister said.

"This meant a larger premium pool was available to meet the cost of claims.

"When the overall 8.6 per cent decrease is applied across the 480 industry classes, premium rates in 372 industry classes decrease and 87 increase reflecting overall trends and the performance of individual industries.

"About 200 industries will have a 10 per cent or more reduction in recommended premium rate."

Mr Kobelke said the decrease in recommended rates more than offset the modest increase in rates adopted by the board last year, following the major reforms to workers' compensation legislation passed by Parliament in 2004.

He said that when standardised for differences in scheme design, the WA average premium rate of 2.117 per cent for 2006-07 compared favourably with other States. Unlike a number of States with substantial deficits, the WA workers' compensation scheme was fully funded.

"The Government has been able to deliver significant improvements in benefits to injured workers without increasing a major impact on premiums paid by employers," the Acting Minister said.

"A formal evaluation of the impact of the recent reforms will commence later this year along with a review of the potential for further improvements in the scheme. The Government will be looking at opportunities to further improve the protection of injured workers while maintaining affordability for employers."

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