ReWork Victorian WorkCover Update

All current and prospective Victorian WorkSafe agents would normally be going through a contract tender with WorkSafe as the current agent contracts are set to end 30 June 2021. Given the current difficulties with Covid19, WorkSafe decided to offer all current agents a 2-year agency license extension from 1 July 2021. CGU was the only Agent that declined this offer providing notification as required just before Christmas of 2020.

As a result, CGU will cease to be a WorkSafe agent from 1 July 2021. All current Victorian CGU Workers Compensation clients will have their WorkCover policy transferred to one of the remaining WorkSafe agents; being either Allianz, EML, Gallagher Basset, or XChanging by 1 July 2021. As a result, the management of any existing WorkCover claims lodged prior to 1 July 2021 will also transfer from CGU to the new agent. Given the sheer number of WorkCover policies and claims requiring a transfer from CGU, it is likely that these policies will be steadily transferred from CGU from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021 to minimise the likely disruption to the scheme. CGU has also written to their larger WorkCover policyholders and requested them to provide their preference in the new agent in order to further reduce the potential disruption that future employer policy agent transfers might cause.

ReWork has already noticed that a sizable portion of new employer WorkCover policy applications recently lodged with CGU, have been diverted to other agents for policy registrations to lessen CGU backlogs of such policy processing. This comes after an unprecedented increase in WorkCover policy applications received by the scheme in the last six months following the introduction of government Covid19 support packages which required applicants to provide their current WorkCover policy number to meet eligibility criteria.

Normally, Victorian employers can freely transfer their WorkCover policy to another agent within the scheme. However, since the onset of Covid19 a policy transfer freeze has been put in place by WorkSafe primarily to lessen the added workload caused by transferring policies during which time agent staff were working from home and under greater work pressures already. Given this new development, WorkSafe has indicated that this policy freeze will be extended until at least 30 September 2021.

There are very limited exceptions where WorkSafe can apply their discretion to allow a policy transfer to occur between agents before the policy transfer freeze is lifted. We may be able to assist in situations where your relationship with your WorkCover agent has irretrievably broken down or transferred a policy would consolidate a group of policies within the same WorkCover agent.  If you require assistance in organising a potential transfer in policy, please contact ReWork at your earliest convenience.

It is expected that current CGU clients will receive a letter in the next week to advise them of the new agent that they have been allocated. Policy transfers are earmarked to steadily begin on 10 April 2021, culminating on 30 June 2021.

Experts in Workers Compensation and Injury Management, ReWork provides outsourced solutions to employers to ensure compliance and cost-effectiveness of your WorkCover programme. Being the one entity within the scheme that solely works on your behalf, our experience in partnering with SMEs across a wide cross-section of industries has allowed our clients to focus on their core operations, having peace of mind that we are there to mitigate risk, improve efficiency and reduce liabilities. At ReWork we are always welcome to speak with you about how to best protect your business – for a free, no-obligation consultation contact your Adroit Risk Manager or ReWork direct on 1300 471 234.

Joe Bisognano

Managing Principal | ReWork Workers Compensation