On 14 May 2020, the Coal Mines Insurance Board (Board) met to consider the premium pricing matters for the 2020-21 policy year. In addition to the usual considerations, this year the Board also took into account the unique health, social and economic circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and potential impacts on the NSW coal industry.
Consequently, the Board has made the following decisions for the 2020-21 policy year:
The CMI Scheme is experiencing the same circumstances as the NSW coal industry, however it is intended that this premium pricing decision will provide stability for policyholders during this period of uncertainty and minimise cost impositions on the industry.
In coming to these decisions, the Board explicitly excluded the possible impacts of COVID-19 claims and other related matters on the NSW workers compensation system generally and the CMI Scheme specifically. This is because these are largely unknown at this time and continue to be the subject of considerable debate at the national and state level.
The Board wishes to advise policyholders that COVID-19 related impacts will be considered when it undertakes the review of premium pricing for the 2021-22 policy year, at which time more information will be available. In the meantime, any emerging impacts will be closely monitored and assessed.
Skills Incentive Scheme to conclude
Coal Services introduced the Skills Incentive Scheme (SIS) in 2015-16 with the aim of:
Under the SIS, Coal Mines Insurance policyholders receive $2,000 per eligible apprentice at the end of a policy period to support the hiring and training of apprentices and reinforcing safe work practices as they enter the industry. The SIS payment is capped at 30% of the premium payable for the relevant period.
Since the SIS was introduced Coal Services has returned $2,280,189 to NSW coal industry employers in support of their employment of apprentices and achieving the above aims.
Coal Services has reviewed the program, its aims and outcomes, and determined the current policy year, 2019-20, will be the final year of operation for the SIS. It was also noted that there are a number of other state and federally-funded apprentice incentive programs designed to support the growth of Australia’s skills base through the employment of apprentices.
Consideration is being given to alternative employer incentive programs more closely aligned with improvements in injury prevention, injury management and return to work outcomes that could be implemented in the future.
The NSW coal industry enjoys a specialised health and safety scheme, operated through the Coal Services Group – CS Health, CMI and Mines Rescue. We call this our “collaborative model”, which includes all key stakeholders in the industry and is underpinned by strong legislation, regulation and compliance. This model has been a key factor in delivering a robust system of worker protection to the NSW coal industry and has also been recognised in recent Government inquiries as a unique and independent model that delivers superior outcomes in terms of worker and industry health and safety.
We are continuing to closely monitor the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on our industry and understand the uncertainty and challenges. In addition to the Board’s decisions on premium pricing for 2020-21, we are implementing strategies across the Coal Services Group to swiftly respond to and manage this difficult and rapidly evolving situation.
Coal Services remains committed to working in collaboration with our stakeholders to ensure that NSW coal industry workers and employers are able to achieve optimal outcomes in injury prevention, injury management and return to work.
Should you have any queries or require additional information on this matter, please contact the CMI Employer Services Team on (02) 8270 3257 or at [email protected]