On 26 September 2018 the Fair Work Commission handed down a decision to reduce accident pay entitlements for coal mine workers from 78 weeks to 52 weeks, as contained in the Black Coal Mining Industry Award 2010. These changes came into effect on 1 November 2018 and impact coal mine workers injured on or after this date.
The Fair Work Commission decision affects the accident pay entitlements for coal mine workers who are not employed under an Enterprise Agreement or Individual Agreement that incorporates the 78-week provision of accident pay and, therefore, depend on the provisions of the Black Coal Mining Industry Award 2010.
Coal Mines Insurance will continue to indemnify policyholders for workers compensation entitlements and accident pay entitlements where a compensable injury occurs at work in line with your employee’s applicable industrial instrument.
There is no immediate impact on premium rates as a result of the Fair Work Commission decision. One of many factors used to calculate premium rates is claims costs. Accident pay payments are included in claim costs. Accordingly, in limited circumstances there could be a marginal, indirect reduction in the claim costs that would be incurred as a result of the Fair Work Commission decision. This will be limited to circumstances where a worker is employed under or subject to the Black Coal Mining Industry Award 2010 and not an Enterprise or Individual Agreement and sustains a compensable injury which keeps them incapacitated for work for more than 52 weeks.
The impact to your employees will depend on the industrial instrument they are employed under.