The Palaszczuk Government will not increase the WorkCover premium rate, as businesses across the state battle to cope with the challenges of COVID-19.
The average premium will be maintained at $1.20 per $100 of wages paid for 2020-2021.
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said by keeping the current average premium rate for another 12 months, Queensland businesses will continue to pay the lowest average rates of any state or territory.
“We have not raised the average premium rate since we came to office in 2015, providing stability for businesses, particularly during this time of uncertainty,” Ms Grace said.
“WorkCover will also maintain the 5 per cent discount for early payment, as well as the apprentice incentive, where apprentice wages are excluded from premium calculations.
“These actions taken by the Government have saved Queensland businesses $61 million over the past financial year, and a total of around $180 million since they were introduced in 2017.
“And when calculating premiums, WorkCover will not include additional amounts paid above an employee’s regular wage as a result of the JobKeeper payments.
“This ensures businesses utilising JobKeeper to top up workers’ pay, are treated fairly and equally.”
Ms Grace said WorkCover was providing premium advice and assistance to employers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Everybody is doing it tough at the moment which is why the Palaszczuk Government is providing support for business,” Ms Grace said.
“When this crisis is over, we want business to come back bigger and stronger, creating more jobs and helping Queenslanders get back on track.
“That’s why WorkCover is also helping employers through early reassessments of provisional wages for the current year for those affected by forced shutdowns, which could mean a reduction in outstanding premium or even a premium refund.
“In fact, WorkCover has already refunded $17.5 million to 4300 small and medium sized businesses who have been forced to reduce their workforce or close because of COVID-19.
“And we are expecting to refund many more when the end of year wages reconciliation takes place.”
Ms Grace said sound financial management and investment decisions in recent years had made Queensland’s workers’ compensation scheme one of the country’s most efficient.
“Of all centrally funded schemes, Queensland has the highest proportion of total expenditure paid directly to injured workers and the lowest proportion going to administrative costs.”
For more information visit worksafe.qld.gov.au/
Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace