How to lower your workers insurance premium

We offer a range of incentives, discounts and other adjustments to help businesses in NSW lower the cost of their insurance premiums.

We aim to reward businesses that create safer, healthier workplaces in NSW. Incentives are available for employers to report incidents early, introduce safety initiatives and support injured workers returning to work.

We also offer discounts for businesses that pay their insurance premium in full, on or before the due date. The minimum premium payable for any policy is currently $175.


  • Apprentice incentive scheme

    Under this scheme, if you employ an apprentice, you're entitled to a premium reduction based on the wages paid to your apprentice.

    To be eligible for the reduction you must:

    • Have a valid workers compensation policy
    • Have entered into a Training Services NSW approved contract with the apprentice in a designated trade vocation. The apprentice must be identified in the training contract.

    We will calculate the apprentice incentive amount based on details you provide in your wages declaration forms.

    Find out more about the Apprentice Incentive Scheme

  • Avoid paying claim excess by quickly reporting an injury

    As an employer, you need to notify your claims service provider (GIO, Allianz, DXC Technology, QBE, Gallagher Bassett or EML) within 48 hours of becoming aware of a work-related injury or illness.

    If one of your workers suffers a workplace injury, you can avoid paying a claims excess by notifying us within five calendar days of you becoming aware of the injury.

    The excess amount is equal to the first week of weekly compensation.

    Find out more about notification of an incident or claim.

  • Discounts for premiums paid in full

    You are entitled to a discount on your premium if you pay your annual premium in full (on or before the due date).

    The discount is offered to everyone with a premium of over $175, regardless of your entitlement to instalments.

    The discount is based on your initial premium payable and will not be adjusted as part of the hindsight premium calculation process, or if wages estimates are adjusted mid-term.

    The discount rate is subject to change. For small employers, the current discount is 5%. For experience-rated employers the current discount is 3%.

    If the discounted premium falls below the minimum premium, then the minimum premium applies.

  • Safe Employer Reward (SER) – small and experience-rated employers

    The Safe Employer Reward is a performance based reward for employers whose policy is calculated under the conventional premium formula method.

    Small employers who have at least three years of policy history and no weekly benefit claims costs or catastrophic claim charges in the 36 months prior to policy renewal will receive an SER premium reduction (7.5% x APP) at renewal.

    Experience-rated employers who have at least three years of policy history, a Claims Performance Rate (CPR) of less than 100% and no catastrophic claim charges in the 36 months prior to policy renewal will receive an SER premium reduction at renewal.

    The reward percentage rate is on a sliding scale based on an employer's CPR (PDF, 0.07MB).

    Claims Performance Rate Safe Employer Reward rate
    From 0% to less than 20%  7.50%
    From 20% to less than 50%  5.00%
    From 50% to less than 100%  2.50%
     100% or greater  0%

  • Return to work incentive for experience-rated employers

    For claims made against a policy that commences or renews on or after 30 June 2015, a return to work incentive discount (5, 10 or 15 per cent) will be applied to the cost of each claim with a sustainable return to work outcome within 52 weeks of the date of injury.

    Higher discounts apply to faster return to sustainable work outcomes.

  • Performance discount

    Experience-rated employers with claims performance better than the Scheme are eligible to receive a performance discount at the end of the policy year.

    All small employers are eligible to receive a performance discount at the end of the policy year.

    Note, the Performance Discount applies to conventional policies only and depends on Scheme financial performance. It may not be applied every policy renewal year.

    Lower your premium - Incentive FAQs

  • Why was the Apprentice Incentive Scheme introduced

    The Apprentice Incentive Scheme is available to NSW employers of apprentices and aims to:

    • grow the state's skill base
    • encourage employers to hire apprentices
    • improve workers compensation insurance outcomes over time because trained workers are less likely to be injured at work.
  • When did the Apprentice Incentive Scheme start
    The Apprentice Incentive Scheme commenced on 31 December 2006 and applies to new or renewed policies commencing on or after that date.
  • I am thinking about employing an apprentice. Where do I start?

    A comprehensive guide on apprenticeships in NSW is available at Training Services NSW.

    For information about the Apprentice Incentive Scheme and other workers compensation insurance matters, contact icare on 13 44 22.

  • How and when do I get the apprentice incentive premium reduction?

    To be eligible for the apprentice premium reduction you must:

    • have a valid workers compensation insurance policy
    • have entered into a 'training contract' approved by Training Services NSW with the apprentice in a designated trade vocation with a National Qualification Code (NQC). The apprentice must be identified in the training contract.

    At renewal apprentice wages are carried forward from the previous policy period as part of total wages, however the apprentice discount will not be applied unless the employer contacts icare and advises updated apprentice details prior to renewal. At hindsight the discount will be applied based on your wages declaration.

  • How are apprentice wages used in the premium calculation?

    Apprentice wages are used in the calculation of the employer's Average Performance Premium (APP). The apprentice incentive discount is applied once the full premium is calculated.

  • How is the Apprentice Incentive calculated?

    The apprentice incentive discount is calculated by multiplying the apprentice's wages by the employer's workers compensation industry (WIC) rate.

    All employers with apprentices are entitled to a workers compensation insurance premium discount based on the wages paid to their apprentices. The amount of premium saved will vary depending on the number of apprentices employed, the apprentice’s wage rate, and the employer’s workers compensation industry (WIC) rate.  

    The incentive is calculated by multiplying the annual apprentice wages by the applicable industry rate. For example, if apprentice wages are $25,000 and the WIC rate is 2.89%, the apprentice incentive discount will be $722.50.

  • Do I need to declare wages for my apprentices?
    Yes. The wages declaration forms provides space for details about the apprentices you employ including their wages and Workers Compensation Industry Classifications (WICs).
  • Does the reduction apply to Training Services NSW recognised traineeships?

    No. The Apprentice Incentive Scheme applies only to apprenticeships in recognised trade vocations as designated by the Commissioner for vocational training under the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Act 2001 (AT Act).

  • Does the reduction apply to trainee apprentices?

    Yes. So long as the trainee apprentice is undertaking an apprenticeship in a trade vocation approved by Training Services NSW. 

    You should check to see if the training contract is Training Services NSW approved and the apprenticeship is listed as such on the Training Services NSW website. 

    As the AT Act defines a ‘trainee apprenticeship’ as an apprenticeship under which the employer does not undertake to employ the apprentice for the whole of the term of the apprenticeship, you should only claim the reduction for those periods that you employ the apprentice.

  • How will the Apprentice Incentive Scheme affect my premium?

    For small employers
    (APP of $30,000 or less)

    Small employers with apprentices will receive a discount on their premium based on apprentice wages and the employer’s WIC rate.

    For example:

    • A second year apprentice carpenter working in house construction earning $29,500 p.a. with a tariff rate of 4.170 per cent (House Construction WIC) — the premium savings would be $1,230.15.
    • A junior apprentice hairdresser earning $26,910 p.a. with a tariff rate of 1.35 per cent (Hairdressing and Beauty Salons WIC) — the premium savings would be $363.29.

    For medium and large employers 
    (APP more than $30,000)

    For medium and large employers, the claims costs associated with an apprentice injured at work will still be used when calculating the experience adjustment premium.

    Importantly, the premium retains the incentive discount for employers to practice good workplace safety, injury management and return to work. A good safety record leads to lower premiums.

    For example:

    • A large employer in residential building construction (WIC rate 4.28%) has wages of $15,000,000 p.a., 20 per cent of which is apprentice wages. The employer saves $128,400 under the Apprentice Incentive Scheme.



  • What is the minimum premium payable?

    For all employers, the final workers compensation insurance premium payable cannot be less than the minimum premium payable, currently $175, even if the apprentice incentive and other premium adjustments total less than the minimum premium. 

  • Am I required to keep apprentice wage records?

    You will need to retain your apprentice wages records, as well as your apprentice training contract and letter from Training Services NSW advising that the application for the training contract has been approved. These documents will need to be produced in the event of a wage audit.

  • How long do I need to keep apprentice records?

    It is a requirement for employers to retain details of apprenticeships and apprentice wages for the same period they are required to keep wage records under section 174 (2) of the Workers Compensation Act 1987. Under section 174 (2), employers are required to retain wage records in good order and condition for at least five years.