WorkCover WA determines recommended premium rates for each industry and updates the rates annually.

However, insurers can discount by any amount or surcharge these rates by up to 75%. Insurers seeking to charge a loading of more than 75% on a recommended premium rate are required to obtain permission from the WorkCover WA Authority (the Board).

In determining the premium rate for your business, your insurer will:

  • request a wages declaration as the recommended premium rate is based on the total amount of remuneration paid to your workers
  • assign an industry classification to your business – if your business conducts more than one industry at the same single location, the classification of your predominant industry (based on gross remuneration) applies
  • examine the risk factors (claims history, safety and injury management policies etc) associated with your business
  • discount the recommended industry rate by any amount, or surcharge by up to 75%, depending upon your business’s individual risk factor
  • insurers may surcharge more than 75% with approval from WorkCover WA, depending on the claims experience and risk associated with the operation of your business
  • adjust your premium following the submission of your actual gross remuneration, depending on whether the actual wages were more or less than the estimate you first provided. If you wish to renew your policy with the same insurer, you need to submit an estimate of gross wages to be paid the following year.
Industry classifications are based on the Australian and New Zealand Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

From the 2018/19 financial year onwards, industry classifications will align with ANZSIC 2006. For more information please click here.

Appeals against your premium rate can be made to WorkCover WA. An employer may appeal if, at the time of issue or renewal of the policy, they are dissatisfied with:

  • the industry classification, or
  • premium assessment.

The employer is to provide written notice of an appeal to WorkCover WA and their insurer, usually within one month from the date of being informed of the classification or premium assessment.

Notwithstanding the appeal, the employer is to pay the premium as assessed by the insurer and the insurer is to issue or renew the policy.

In circumstances where the insurer seeks to charge in excess of 75% of the recommended premium rate, the insurer may request the employer pays the premium up to a maximum of 75% of the recommended premium rate. The insurer must make an application to WorkCover WA Authority (the Board) to charge in excess of 75% of the recommended premium rate. If the insurer’s application is approved by WorkCover WA, the employer is obligated to pay the remaining premium.

WorkCover WA aims to ensure that the appeal process is as transparent and fair as possible. See the Process used by WorkCover WA when considering an Appeal (PDF –268kb).

For further information contact Workcover WA’s Advice and Assistance line on 1300 794 744.

Note: WorkCover WA (pursuant to section 100B of the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981) is required in some circumstances to provide employer details to WorkSafe WA.

It is important that you calculate your wages costs accurately, as the declaration will affect the premium applied to your workers’ compensation insurance policy. When the policy expires, you must submit a declaration stating the actual gross wages paid in the past period, and an estimate of wages for the next period.

Penalties for non-compliance

If you do not provide a statement, or if your statement of actual wages is false, you may leave yourself liable for prosecution.

The term ‘remuneration’ includes:

  • wages
  • salaries
  • commissions
  • bonuses
  • overtime
  • allowances and the like
  • directors’ fees
  • superannuation contributions (except those made by force of law)
  • superannuation contributions made as part of the Superannuation Guarantee are not to be included in the calculation of ‘remuneration’. However, any other superannuation contribution made on behalf of the employee is classed as ‘remuneration’.
  • fringe benefits
  • all other benefits paid (whether paid in cash or non-cash benefits such as vehicles, equipment, mortgage payments, travel, school fees etc.) to or in relation to a worker (including working directors declared as such to WorkCover WA) or to contractors, before deduction of income tax.
‘Remuneration’ does not include:

  • termination payments
  • retirement pay
  • retrenchment pay in lieu of notice
  • pensions
  • ‘golden handshakes’
  • weekly payments of workers’ compensation