When the NSW State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) asked whether COVID-19 Workers Compensation claims should be shared equitably across all insurers and employers in NSW, Insurance House had a very clear response - no, these costs should not be shared.
Here are our three reasons for this response, which we believe are fair and just.
- A significant number of employers in NSW continue to work from home to mitigate the risk of an employee contracting COVID-19. These employers have little to no exposure and should not be penalised with a cost sharing model.
- Businesses are required to operate under COVID-19 safe environments. To do so, businesses have had to invest in signage, cleaning products, screens, face masks etc. Employers who have diligently implemented and maintained their COVID-19 Safe Plan should not be penalised with additional expense to cover the workers compensation costs of those who have not implemented and maintained a COVID-19 free environment.
- Regional areas in NSW have had little to no exposure to COVID-19 whilst the opposite is true for metropolitan NSW. A cost sharing model that's applied to all employers in NSW, regardless of location, unfairly disadvantages regional employers.
Insurance House believes that if SIRA does seek to share the costs amongst NSW employers, then it should be done fairly. We'd recommend SIRA take an industry-based approach. The model should be biased against those industries where COVID-19 claims have been incurred and not put an impost on those where it hasn't.
Insurance House's team of Workers Compensation specialists are experts in managing workers compensation programs across a range of industries. They assist organisations with Injury and Claims Management, Reporting and Analysis and Premium Management.
For a confidential discussion about your Workers Compensation program, call Mark Farrugia on 0437 917 315 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed above are opinions only based on current information available and should not be considered as advice or the final position to be adopted by the authorities.