|Issue No 87||10 March 2001|
Unions Cautious Over New Insurance Deal
By Mary Yaager
The Government this week announced a new discount scheme, which offers employers who do the right thing up to $75,000 off their workers compensation premium.
"The scheme introduces new incentives for employers to have safer workplaces and better return to work strategies for injured workers, including a discount of up to 15% off their workers compensation premiums in the first year", said the Special Minister of State and Minister for Industrial Relations, John Della Bosca.
"There are discounts of up to $50,000 (10%) in the second year and a maximum of $25,000 (5%) in the third year."
Michael Costa, Secretary of the Labor Council of New South Wales, said the unions cautiously welcome these new arrangements because they encourage employers to implement proper workplace safety and offer employees who are injured alternate suitable work.
Michael went on to say that the union movement will be keeping a close watching brief on the administration of this scheme to make sure that it is not abused and manipulated, and that employers actually do the right thing.
Michael further stated that there is a discount scheme in South Australia, which offers employers a reduction in their premium, however, the unions are highly sceptical of this scheme because of the ability of employers to manipulate the process.
This scheme in New South Wales will be administered by special consultants, who will be approved by WorkCover.
In conclusion Michael said that the unions will ensure that they have significant input into the administration and auditing process of this new scheme.
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