After a new client engaged ABILITY GROUP to assist with a complex claim, our efforts secured a fantastic outcome that will save our client approx. $400,000 in premium increases. By the time we were involved, solicitors and an arbitration date we already booked. The insurer had communicated very little to the client and what the injured worker was seeking through a settlement was a large amount that would have significantly impacted their premium.Read more
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.Read more
Irrespective of the size of your business or industry you work in, workplace risks exist. Businesses that adopt a proactive risk management approach will typically minimise workplace risks, injuries and claims. Regrettably accidents do occur and in tragic situations the death of a worker has impacts beyond the obvious. Fatalities in the workplace not only affect the immediate family, they also cause distress to colleagues, employers and friends. No worker nor their family should face the risk of not coming home from work. We promote it is essential all Australian workplaces take every precaution to ensure their employees return home safe at the end of every day. So what are Australia’s most dangerous industries and the common cause of fatalities?
A healthy workplace is not only good for your workers, it can also be very beneficial for your business. Implementing Wellness or Work Health Programs that focus on preventative health and lifestyle improvement often lead to greater productivity, less absenteeism, fewer injuries and a reduction of longer term costs. Even small changes can have a huge impact. For 5 Tips for a Healthier Workplace
With 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.
Approximately 1 in 3 workplace accidents result from manual handling related injuries and inexperienced employees often being at the greatest risk. Whether onsite or in offices these injuries can be avoided or minimised with appropriate training. Good posture and lifting techniques can help reduce the risks. Evidence also suggests workplace changes can also be effective strategy to minimise injuries.
Clients and brokers often ask us about workers compensation in Queensland and being a Government run scheme there are important differences. Some of the key differences include Accident Insurance is specific and compulsory cover for employees whereas the optional Workplace Personal Injury Insurance will cover those not deemed eligible under the Accident Insurance. In Queensland, the scheme is operated entirely by the state. The Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (the Act) states that employers must insure their workers with WorkCover Queensland under an accident insurance policy within five days of commencing employment. However, directors, partners of a partnership, sole traders and trustees are excluded from coverage as they are not considered workers. There is no threshold that businesses must reach before insuring in Queensland and businesses cannot pay for any of their own claim costs in Queensland.
A decision made by Workers Compensation Commission Deputy President O’Grady in Sabanayagam v St George Bank Ltd  on 21 January 2016 has resulted in important changes for NSW businesses. Effective immediately, any decision to cease a workers’ weekly payments of compensation need to be communicated via a Work Capacity Decision (WCD).
This decision is important as it effectively means a legislated 3 month period is required for the WCD to be completed. In context of the 30 June 2015 changes and therefore under the new NSW workers compensation premium formula, it means the additional wage costs will impact a business’ workers compensation premium for the following 3 premium renewals. As a result it is will be increasingly important to ensure all claims are managed in a timely and effective manner. Use of specialists to expedite outcomes will assist businesses in minimising the people, business and financial costs.
8+ million Australians go to work each day with many in manual or sedentary workplaces. Mounting evidence supports onsite physio as a strategy to minimise workplace injuries. With an average of 1/3 of an individual’s life spent at work, it is becoming vital for businesses to adopt measures to prevent, manage and educate employees regarding their health. Using a physio in the workplace is a preventative strategy for businesses wanting to minimise costs, reduce workers compensation claims and more.
The main focus of the workers compensation is to enable injured workers to stay at work or return to work following a work related injury. Workplace rehabilitation plays an important role by involving timely intervention with appropriate and adequate service based needs to assist injured workers back into the workplace. We are pleased to say our specialist rehab business HEALTH ABILITY has a 100% return to work rate and can support businesses.