The NSW Government is providing more than $420 million in financial relief this year to help keep businesses in business and people in jobs by reducing insurance premiums for businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and maintaining current premium levels.
The NSW Government has requested that workers insurance premiums remain unchanged in another move to cushion the impacts of COVID-19 and stimulate the economy.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet today confirmed premium rates for the Nominal Insurer, which protects more than 325,000 businesses and their 3.2 million workers, will remain unchanged from 30 June 2020, saving businesses across the State more than $325 million.
“The Government has deferred or waived a number of taxes, fees, and levies and I have asked icare to do the same despite the scheme being heavily impacted by market volatility associated with coronavirus,” Mr Perrottet said.
“This is another example of our ongoing support for NSW businesses as they deal with the impacts of COVID-19 with icare contacting around 3,000 customers to assist in premium adjustments, payment deferrals and offer advice.
“Employers across the State should have confidence the NSW Government is considering all options available to keep people in jobs and businesses in business.”
icare has already reduced premiums by $52 million for more than 10,000 businesses who have adjusted their estimated wages as a result of challenges related to COVID-19.
In addition, icare has paused more than $43 million in premiums for 2,000 customers facing financial hardship.
Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said there was no doubt businesses had been hit hard during this challenging time.
“We’re taking action to ensure a higher insurance premium is one less thing businesses have to worry about,” Mr Tudehope said.
“The NSW Government is doing what it can to support our businesses – we have already cut payroll tax, waived licencing fees and provided grants to pay for unavoidable expenses.”
icare NSW CEO John Nagle said despite economic pressures on the workers compensation scheme, premiums would be maintained at 1.4 per cent of average base wages.
“We are working hard to keep premiums as low as possible for NSW businesses and despite the recent volatile economic conditions which have impacted our investment returns and our funding ratio, we are able to absorb the initial impacts and rebalance the funding gradually in coming years as the economy recovers,” Mr Nagle said.
“We are doing everything we can to support our customers in their recovery during this difficult time.
“We recognise there is still ongoing change for many businesses across the State and customers are encouraged to get in contact to discuss their individual needs.”
Customers can contact icare on 13 44 22 to discuss their individual business circumstances. Further details on COVID-19 measures and impacts are available on the icare website.
In 2015, the NSW Government undertook the biggest transformation of the workers compensation scheme in 30 years improving outcomes for injured motorists and workers and icare continues to drive change to provide excellent care and support.