The NSW Government has announced a number of changes to workers compensation aimed at cutting red tape for employers and assisting injured workers access benefits.Under the amendments, from 30 June 2008, only employers with annual wages greater than $7,500 will be required to take out workers compensation insurance (except where an employer engages an apprentice or is a member of a Group of companies for workers compensation purposes).

A worker of an employer that is not required to hold a policy will still be covered for workers compensation and employers will still have the same obligations as they do now to provide assistance with injury management and return to work.

Currently in NSW, all employers regardless of the amount of wages paid are required to hold a workers compensation policy of insurance. This includes private householders employing domestic assistance such as nannies and employers who employ on a part time or intermittent basis. Many small businesses owners also hold a policy just in case they employ someone. This change will reduce the regulatory burden for these, the smallest of the state’s employers.

The changes will also extend the workers compensation insurance coverage to the nearly 2.5 million households in NSW.

If the worker of an employer that is not required to hold a policy is injured, the employer will be required to report the claim and pay a one-off fee of $175.

The changes further align New South Wales’ arrangements with those in place under the Victorian workers compensation system.

Another change which will assist employers is the simplification of workers compensation record keeping requirements, with a reduction of the period that wages records must be kept, from seven to five years. This change also aligns New South Wales’ workers compensation requirements with those of Victoria and the Australian Taxation Office for business records.

For more information and FAQ see Workcover NSW

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