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WorkCover premium savings for employers hiring apprentices

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WorkCover Queensland are supporting the Queensland Government’s plan to encourage business to hire more apprentices, by offering employers a discount on their premium if they employ apprentices.

From 1 July 2017 we are implementing an ‘apprentice discount’ which will offer savings to employers who employ apprentices by removing apprentice wages from their premium calculation. Wages are a major factor in an employer’s premium calculation, so removing wages via the apprentice discount will result in a cheaper premium.

If an employer is not yet hiring apprentices but considering doing so in the near future, this discount will mean the employer’s premium will not increase as a result of hiring an apprentice.

While employers can benefit from these savings, it’s important to note the level of cover offered to apprentices is not changing. All workers—including apprentices—will continue to receive the same level of cover if they sustain an injury in the course of their employment.

To qualify for the discount, an employer must employ and pay wages to at least one apprentice. To be regarded as an apprentice for workers’ compensation purposes, the worker must sign a training contract with their employer to undertake an apprenticeship declared under the Further Education and Training Act 2014. This does not include trainees.

Employers may claim the discount for wages paid to apprentices for work that relates directly to the apprenticeship. Any wages paid to an apprentice before or after the apprenticeship and for the roles or duties other than those specified in the training contract will not qualify for an apprentice discount. Refer to the wages definition manual for more information.

Employers will be able to take advantage of this discount from 1 July 2017 when they declare their wages during the renewal of their accident insurance policy. Employers will need to renew online or over the phone to receive the apprentice discount.

When employers renew their policy they need to declare all wages paid to workers (including apprentices) in the 2016–2017 financial year, and estimate wages for the 2017–2018 financial year. During the wage declaration process employers will be prompted to specify the amount of wages they estimate to pay apprentices in the 2017–2018 financial year so that WorkCover can deduct them from their premium calculation.

If you have any questions about the apprentice discount, please see the FAQs below, or call us on 1300 362 128.

FAQS

How do I qualify for the apprentice discount?

To qualify for the discount, an employer must employ and pay wages to at least one apprentice.

Who is an apprentice?

To be regarded as an apprentice for workers’ compensation purposes, the worker must sign a training contract with their employer to undertake an apprenticeship declared under the Further Education and Training Act 2014. This does not include trainees.

Are trainees included?

No.

Can I claim the apprentice discount for all wages paid to my apprentices?

You may claim the discount for wages paid to apprentices for work that relates directly to the apprenticeship. Any wages paid to an apprentice before or after the apprenticeship and for the roles or duties other than those specified in the training contract will not qualify for an apprentice discount. Refer to the wages definition manual for more information.

How do I claim my apprentice discount?

When you renew your policy (online or over the phone) from 1 July 2017, you will need to declare all wages paid to workers (including apprentices) in the 2016–2017 financial year, and estimate wages for the 2017–2018 financial year. During the wage declaration process you will be prompted to specify the amount of wages you estimate to pay to apprentices so that WorkCover can deduct them from your premium calculation. If you usually declare your wages via paper/fax you will need to either call us or declare online to receive the apprentice discount.

Is there a limit on how many apprentices I can claim this discount for?

No. You may claim this discount for every apprentice you employ.

Is the apprentice discount only being offered this year?

No. It will be an ongoing discount that you can claim each year when you renew your policy.

Can I receive the apprenticeship discount for apprentices I engage through a Group Training Organisation?

No. Only the employer of an apprentice can claim the apprentice discount.

Do I still need an accident insurance policy with WorkCover if I only employ apprentices?

Yes. If you have a business in Queensland and employ workers, it is compulsory to insure them against workplace accidents by taking out an accident insurance policy with WorkCover Queensland.

Are apprentices still covered for workplace injuries?

Yes. The level of cover offered to apprentices is not changing. All workers—including apprentices—will continue to receive the same level of cover if they sustain an injury in the course of their employment.

What happens to my premium if an apprentice is injured and makes a claim?

Your premium will be impacted in the same way as if a non-apprentice made a claim. The apprentice discount only excludes an apprentice’s wages from your premium calculation. Any claim costs associated with an apprentice will still factor into your premium calculation. See this page for more information on how claims affect your premium.

Last updated
14 June 2017