Average premium rate increase
Since the introduction of the Return to Work Scheme in 2015, the average premium paid by South Australian businesses has reduced from 2.75% to an all-time low of 1.65%, and the Scheme has been fully funded. Despite the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ReturnToWorkSA Board kept the 2020-21 premium rate at this record-low rate and actively supported SA businesses by deciding to exclude Job Keeper payments from premium calculations.
However despite improving return to work performance in 2020-21, a higher number of claims are meeting the serious injury threshold than expected. The additional support and services provided to this group significantly increase Scheme costs. With increased cost pressure it is now necessary to increase the average premium rate to 1.70% for 2021-22.
“The Board and management take any premium increase very seriously and have kept this to a minimum in line with our obligations to contain Scheme costs within reasonable limits, as well as taking all reasonable steps to ensure the Scheme is fully funded” said Greg McCarthy, Chair of ReturnToWorkSA.
“Although key Scheme performance indicators such as return to work rates are improving, even with this premium increase, the Scheme will still be under significant financial pressure in the years to come.”