Welcome to end of second quarter and we are now half way through 2015.
June 17, 2015 marked the signing of the China – Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) and will lock in existing trade and provide the catalyst for future growth across a range of areas including goods, services and investment. As stated by our Prime Minister the Hon Tony Abbott MP and Minister for Trade and Investment the Hon. Andrew Robb AO MP, The Agreement secures better market access for Australia to the world’s second largest economy, improves our competitive position in a rapidly growing market, promotes increased two – way investment and reduces import costs, stating it’s a win for households and businesses alike. One would have to ask what about our local manufacturing sector? Already under the growing pressure of manufactured items from China does this agreement now make us more competitive or just another reason to kick local manufacturing yet again?
The full text of the Agreement is now publicly available at: dfat.gov.au/chafta along with materials to assist in understanding the agreement, you are the judge.
Here are a couple of key points from the agreement:
On day one of the ChAFTA more than 85% of Australian goods exports will be tariff free, rising to 95% on full implementation.
Australia’s agriculture sector will be able to capitalise on its reputation as a clean, green producer or premium food and beverage products. Tariffs will be progressively abolished for Australia’s $13 billion dairy industry. Beef and sheep farmers will also gain from the phased abolition of traffic and all tariffs on horticulture will be eliminated.
Tariffs will be removed on almost all Australian resources and energy products from day one of the agreement.
Tariffs eliminated on a wide range of Australian manufactured goods, including pharmaceutical products and car engines.
Special article this newsletter on workers compensation a must for everyone to read. Changes in WHS laws and regulations will have an effect on everyone’s business regardless of how many employees you have. If this topic is of interest or you require further clarification of the changes please don’t hesitate to contact either of the two listed members of PIMA directly.
Membership drive, we will welcome any new members or past members re-joining the cause. Visit our website at www.pima.asn.au for further information or contact us direct with an email to to obtain information on membership.
PIMA Presidents Report July 2015
Keith Monaghan – President, PIMA
Another successful golf day has been run and what a great day.
We started at a new course, Bankstown GC and they organised a well-run event especially with the weather that was presented to us on the day.
The overnight rain was heavy and there was some talk that the course might be closed but the people at Bankstown GC allowed us the run the event with only one hole out of play.
The rain stopped for the players briefing and held off allowing us to complete the full round.
This then followed with an evening of food and entertainment.
I would like to thank all those that took part in the day and those that gave donations. The total donations from the day were $14,000.
PIMA is working with Richard Jenkins, who is a skills advisor with the AiGroup, and we are looking to obtain some funding under the Industry Skill Fund related to Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) training. This is related to the skill survey PIMA carried out a couple of years ago.
You will receive information from PIMA on this and I urge you to investigate this and if possible join in with the programme.
PIMA has continued to represent the industry at the NSW ITAB and continues to put the industries point forward where training is concerned.
Again PIMA will run the graduation night for the Polymer students and I urge all members to support this night. The night will be held on the 13th October.
One last thing PIMA has sent out a questionnaire to assess where we should go in the future to support the industry. I urge you to please fill this out.
Finsura Workers Compensation News
Finsura’s Review of the 2015 N.S.W Workers Compensation Reforms
Following on from the success of the reforms introduced for small businesses in 2013, WorkCover NSW has introduced changes to workers compensation premiums for medium and large employers, effective 30 June 2015.
These reforms will affect medium and large employers that have a basic tariff premium (BTP) greater than $30,000 and their premium is calculated using experience from previous wages and claims history.
The expected outcomes from the reforms are to:
• Deliver easy to understand premiums – employers can see more easily how they can influence their premiums by providing safer workplaces.
• Improve outcomes for injured workers – incentives for employers who manage workers through recovery at work.
• Provide safer workplaces – incentives to promote workplace safety and rewards for maintaining safe workplaces.
• Reduce red tape – WorkCover will assess and set the risk of employers’ policies at the renewal of the policy and premiums will be adjusted for final wages at its conclusion.
• Deliver sustainability and certainty – new minimum and maximum limits will provide more certainty when forecasting, while a scheme performance adjustment will also be introduced
What does this mean for you?
• 10% discount upfront on your policy renewal to assist with proactive implementation of safety systems and early intervention.
• The cost of claims will only be impacted by paid weekly wages, therefore placing a priority on maintained RTW programs.
Here are some ideas on suitable roles that can be offered to injured workers to help manage them back to work:
Is Suitable employment available Y/N
Suitable employment role
Aim for the role to have the capacity to have regular postural changes and stretch breaks,
Description of suitable employment (describe the tasks and include the physical requirements)
Administration duties that are self-paced and can be done seated or standing Sorting (within restrictions provided) Cleaning
Packing - within any weight restrictions
RTW Hours/Days (should reflect current medical certificate)
7.6 hours / 38 hour week
• Workers that have no intention of returning to work must be managed with the highest priority, as the long-term impact can be very substantial to your premium. For employers who have workers return to work within the timeframes below and maintain their normal duties for 3 months will be offered the following discounts on their claim:
- 0-13weeks 15%
- 13-26weeks 10%
- 26-52weeks 5%
• Adjustment Estimates will no longer occur after the new changes come into play. Three years of claims cost (wages and WPI) will impact on your renewal. Therefore, each year you will only have to complete one piece of documentation.
• Safety rewards and incentives for businesses that maintain safe workplaces.
The team at Finsura can assist in navigating the changes ahead. Please contact Nick or Steve on 02 98992999 for a free review on how these changes will impact your business.
NSW workers compensation premium system changes – what employers need to know?
WorkCover NSW has announced major changes to the workers compensation insurance premium system, which will take effect for all new policies and renewals on or after 30 June 2015.
These changes are intended to:
- enable safety spending and to reward employers who maintain a safe working environment;
- encourage and reward early return to work; and
- reduce claims
In terms of their workers compensation insurance premiums, key changes employers need to be aware of are set out below:-
1. Changes to what claims costs are used for premium calculation purposes
From 1 July 2015, the only types of claims payments that will be included when determining the claims costs for premium calculation will be:
- Weekly Benefits & Weekly Benefits for dependents
- Death Benefits
- Lump sum value (s66)
- Pain & Suffering (S67)
Note that rehabilitation costs are excluded.
2. Changes to how an employer’s claims experience is determined
Instead of comparing an employer’s claims performance with their industry it will now be compared with the overall scheme performance. Please note, claims costs for CPR purposes will be as at renewal time and will not be amended on adjustment.
3. Expansion of the employer safety incentive (ESI) to medium and large employers
There will be a premium discount to help employers to build safer workplaces and prevent workplace injuries.
4. Introduction of the employer safety reward (ESR)
This payment will be available on adjustment for employers who have not had a premium-impacting claim in the last four consecutive years.
5. Introduction of the performance discount
This discount will be paid to employers depending on scheme performance as well as their CPR result.
6. Reduction of claims costs based on sustained return to work
There will be a Return to Work incentive discount based on the return to work date of each claim. This will first impact premiums for renewals after 30/06/2016. For RTW periods less than 13 weeks, there will be a 15% reduction to total CPR claim costs used for premium purposes. The discount reduces to 10% for 13-26 weeks and 5% for 26-52 weeks durations.
As with most things insurance related, it pays to speak to an expert if you are uncertain in any regard about the best course of action for your business.
Emjay Insurance Brokers offers workers compensation insurance expertise in both premiums and claims, delivering comprehensive, integrated solutions for our clients, which focus on effective risk management and real cost savings.
We work across a diverse range of industry sectors, with particular expertise in the mining, construction, manufacturing, labour hire and transport sectors. You can read more about our workers comp services here or more information on how we can assist you contact us today on 02 9796 0400.
Insurance & Risk Solutions
T : +61 2 9796 0400 F : +61 2 9790 7017 W : emjayib.com.au
ABN: 52 002 815 910 FSR LIC NO: 227 164
Bankstown : Norwest : Orange : Sydney