WorkSafe Victoria has developed the WorkSafe Incentive Scheme for Employers (WISE) to encourage companies to offer ongoing employment to workers who have recovered from a workplace injury, but who are unable to return to work in their pre-injury employment.
Workers who have recovered from a workplace injury can access WISE if they have a capacity for work and can work at least 15 hours per week and are able to complete the WISE placement before they reach retirement age.
Most employers can access WISE. An employer offering a WISE placement must employ the worker under the same employment conditions as any other worker within the workplace and provide a safe and healthy work environment. As well, payments made to a WISE employer as a wage subsidy are not intended to constitute the worker’s entire salary.
If certain criteria can be met, a WorkSafe agent may allow a WISE placement at an employer who wishes to employ a family member. As well as considering whether the business has been established for at least 12 months and is financially viable, the WorkSafe agent will also consider whether this is the most suitable employment option for the worker and whether any other suitable employment options can be found for the worker.
Employers who cannot access to WISE
Employers who are labour hire companies, employment agencies or group training organisations and intend to on-hire the worker to another business and charge that business an amount in excess of what is paid directly to the worker cannot access WISE. However, if these types of employers intend to directly employ and the pay the worker (i.e. not on-hire to another business), they may access WISE.
Workers who are Directors/Board Members of their own company cannot access WISE for themselves or a relative. WISE cannot be used to pursue self-employment.
WISE Employer Payments
The WorkSafe agent makes the WISE payments on receiving the WISE Payment Form. A WISE employer can receive up to $26,000 for a 26 week WISE placement payable, paid across a number of instalments:
- At Week One, an initial payment of $2000;
- At Week 13, 45% of the gross earnings paid to the worker for the preceding 13 weeks capped at $12,000;
- At Week 26, 45% of the gross earnings paid to the worker for the preceding 13 weeks capped at $12,000;
WorkSafe Injury Insurance Protection
If a worker has another injury, employers should contact their WorkSafe Agent. They may decide the injury is related to the original claim or they may ask for a new WorkSafe claim to be lodged.
If the injury is related to the original claim, all costs and any premium impact rests with the previous employer. Even if it is decided that it is a new WorkSafe claim, this will not impact on the new employer’s premium.
Employers are offered WorkSafe Injury Insurance Protection if the worker stops work because of a new WorkSafe claim. As well, the cost of that claim is excluded from the employer’s injury insurance premium calculation. The employer is liable, however for the first 10 days of weekly payment and the first $610 of medical expenses.
Further information on WISE can also be found at the WorkSafe website www.worksafe.vic.gov.au.
Talk to IPAR today
To find out how WISE can assist your business, please contact Annette Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (03) 8648 0900. Alternatively, please download and complete the WISE Vacancy Registration Form.