Tag Archives: consultants

icare Announce 2018 NSW AGENTS

Earlier this afternoon, icare announced the 2018 NSW workers compensation agents. Following CGU announcing their exit from NSW workers compensation, further important changes were announced today by icare. Per our previous articles it was widely expected the current 5 agents (Allianz, CGU, EML, GIO & QBE) would be reduced to 3 for 2018 onward.

Given the timing of today’s announcement, it is our current understanding that from 2018 onward, the following will occur:

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Australian Trends & Insights

Safe Work Australia has  recently released new statistics that demonstrate Workers Compensation claims have continued to decline over a 15 year period since 2000. Claim frequency relate to males, muscular stress from lifting/handling  & slips, trips & falls.

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Introducing Michael

Michael joins our team with extensive injury & claims management, Work Health & Safety (WHS) as well as workplace safety compliance experience. In completing his Bachelor of Commerce, Michael’s understanding of  business complements his desire to help people & prevent risks.

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Claim Declinature

The Christmas – New Year period has historically proven to be a busy period for workers compensation. Due to a variety of reasons, we see a higher frequency of claims during this period. Last December and just before Christmas break / public holidays, one of our clients had a psychological claim lodged against them. The worker had been terminated two weeks prior to the claim being lodged.

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Occupational Violence

Occupational ViolenceOccupational violence is an incident where a worker is physically attacked in the workplace or during work related activities. It also extends to if a worker is threatened in a way that causes them to reasonably believe they are in danger of being physically attacked. With an ageing population, ensuring aged and other care workers are able to cope with the at times aggressive behaviour associated with some types of dementia or disabilities is an important issue for care providers. Recent data shows care workers represent more than 9 percent of NSW workers compensation claims with over 12,000 physical and mental claims made in the recent 3 year period. Addressing workplace bullying and violence be challenging yet SafeWork Australia provide recommendations.

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Significant NSW icare Changes

Let's talk Changeicare’s latest announcement regarding the ongoing NSW workers compensation reforms hit the market earlier today. icare’s latest changes take effect in 2017 and will impact how businesses, and brokers, approach workers compensation in NSW. icare is “moving closer to our customers, putting their needs at the centre of everything we do”. The latest changes will transform workers compensation insurance in NSW by controlling how businesses (customers) buy and renew their policies via a new online portal.

We have already heard significant speculation regarding what these changes mean and how the industry will evolve as result. So what do these changes mean and therefore what can our clients and brokers expect?

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Tips For Talking About Safety

Talk About SafetyRaising a workplace safety concern with your boss can sometimes seem like a daunting prospect. Not doing so, however, can mean a dangerous incident goes unresolved, potentially injuring you or your co-workers. It could be something like a machine that is missing protective guards, dangerous movement of plant, poor housekeeping presenting trip hazards or speaking up if you see someone being bullied. Alternatively you might feel your training for a particular task was inadequate or you need more help to do a job safely. Whatever the issue, it is important to remember everyone has a right to work in a fair, just and safe workplace. Employers are obligated (as far as is reasonably practicable) to provide such an environment. Read more for tips on how to talk about safety.

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Recent NSW Change Summary

NSW Change SummaryThe last 12 months has seen continued change across NSW Workers Compensation which remains consistent with the prior 2-3 years. These recent NSW workers compensation structural changes were designed to result in a faster, simpler, and more engaging experience for workers, employers and other stakeholders.

In September 2015, the structural separation of insurance functions was recommended in various reports and inquiries into WorkCover to address the inbuilt conflict between the insurance regulatory and insurance service delivery functions. Importantly, addressing concerns of various stakeholders as well.

Benefit reforms for injured workers were made law in August 2015. The benefit reforms focus on three objectives: helping injured workers with the highest needs, assisting those with injuries to return to work, and applying benefits equitably for all injured workers.

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Farewell Mel

Mel Profile - B&W (Square)It is with sadness we farewell Mel our senior claims specialist at the end of April. Mel has been an integral member of our ABILITY GROUP team since joining in November 2014. Mel has gone to great lengths working with our clients, brokers and injured workers to secure the best possible outcomes. Mel will be sorely missed and we wish her well.

Adam and Andrea will provide assistance whilst we are recruiting a replacement.

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Wage Audits & What To Do

Wage AuditWith the Easter long weekend upon us and with most NSW insurers having completed their outstanding renewal premium processing, ABILITY GROUP have been assisting clients and brokers with a larger number of enquiries regarding icare (previously WorkCover) Wage Audits.

Icare have a compliance program that verifies if employers have paid their correct premium. To ensure that employers are paying the appropriate workers compensation premium, legislation gives icare and the Nominal Insurance Agent right to access an employer’s wage records in conducting a Wage Audit. When an audit reveals a business has under declared their wages, the employer must pay the outstanding premium as well as a late payment fees dating back to when the premium was originally due. In addition, when wages have been under declared by more than 25%, the employer will be charged the wage audit cost.

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