THE Mid North Coast NSW Business Chamber fears that the proposed 28% increase in workers compensation premiums would cost local businesses more than $19.5 million in extra premium charges and would have a negative impact on jobs.
NSW's Workers' Compensation Scheme is facing a $4 billion deficit with a proposed 28% increase in premiums needed to bring the Scheme back into balance within five years.
The analysis by the NSW Business Chamber is a conservative estimate based on the impact of a 28% increase on the basic tariff premium applied across the number of employers in the Mid North Coast.
"If premiums are increased by the 28% that the Actuaries assert is needed to get the scheme back to full funding in five years, that will cost Mid North Coast employers over $19.5 million in additional premium fees," Mid North Coast NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager, Kellon Beard, said.
"Hiking premiums by $19.5 million or about $2176 per Mid North Coast employer is not an incentive to employ people, in fact, it's an incentive to employers to review their staffing and stop employing," Mr Beard said .
"This is not easy reform, but it is necessary reform if we are to have a Compensation Scheme that gets the balance right between supporting injured workers and helping employers to create jobs.
"It is in everyone's interest, both employer and employee, to have a Workers' Compensation Scheme that is financially sustainable, competitive and assists injured workers to return to work as soon as they are fit to do so.
"The NSW business community supports the proposed changes put forward by the Government. The current proposals for reform of the Scheme are anticipated to have a positive impact on the scheme's finances, and will focus support for the most seriously injured, where the community expects it should be focused."