Workcover killing small business - Aussie Stock Forums

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  1. #1

    Default Workcover killing small business

    I know this is a stock forum but this really needs to get out there.I only just discovered this web site after going through similar problems.Even if you are not in small business its probably a good read to realize just how sick the state of NSW is for business and why many in trades(plumbing/carpenters etc) and such are leaving in droves.

    The skill shortage is mainly due to the fact that there is such a massive amount of red tape in this state.I hope this site helps anyone in a similar situation.


  2. #2


    A general comment on the cost of employing people.

    Where I work we currently have apprentices employed through a labour hire company. We do it this way primarily so that we can out place apprentices in 2nd and 3rd year to broaden their experience.

    Anyway, suffice to say that the bills we get from the labour hire firm are literally double the amount paid to those apprentices. All the costs of leave, various insurances, superannuation etc add up to a 100% loading on the wage the apprentice receives.

    Obviously the labour hire firm is making a profit, but the point is that actually employing people is rather expensive way beyond what the employee actually receives.

    We've actually tripled our apprentice numbers in recent times but I can see why many have done the opposite. All the red tape and hidden costs (in our case we've effectively outsourced the red tape, hence the huge cost) are enough to put most off. Add to that the reality that first year apprentices are unavoidably a net productivity loss and I can't see the skills shortage being fixed anytime soon.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Workcover killing small business

    Yes - it is a big cost. The new Generation Y employees are a very different breed. Everyone wants the pay of a business owner but they don't want any of the responsibilities. The just want the flexibility and perks of an employee. The skills shortage is a big issue Smurf - and I can't see it ending (or being fixed) either.

    Remember - it's not a lie if you truely believe it yourself.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Workcover killing small business

    There is one spect to be considered: small business and big business kills, injures and maims at times. People have rights in this area that should not be taken away. The red tape is pathetic though.
    Discussion only! Posts may be factually incorrect due to ignorance, taken out of context, misinterpreted, or just opinionated discussion.

  5. #5
    Not a scaredy cat anymore Prospector's Avatar
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    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Workcover killing small business

    I have had two audits from Workcover - took me ages to get all the paperwork together, the interview lasted for 2 hours, and nothing untoward was found! A waste of a week's work for me!

    As a small business owner myself, I am finding the thing that is totally consuming my time at the moment is dealing with Superannuation funds!
    Let me say at the start that I ensure that all my employees have the 9% put into their account well within the ATO requirements. Usually within 3 weeks of the previous month!

    However, all the employees have chosed different Superannuation funds, so I am dealing with 8 different super funds! Each one requires an email or contribution return to be sent each month. That is OK!

    One super fund has the requirement that I have to pay the previous month's super fund by the 15th of the next month! Their rule, not the ATO's! Surely I dont have to abide by this?

    Another Super Fund put my contribution to a totally different employer account (employees earlier employer), despite a covering letter from us with all our account details etc. When I queried it, they initially said I was in the wrong, then a day later when they found my letter said that they had employed some backpackers, they werent properly trained and mistakes had occurred! I could have been sued by the Tax Office for their error for not allocating the contributions to my employer account!

    Another super fund emailed me 18 months after I had started making contributions for another employee, stating they had just received my contribution for the previous month (I had not changed my normal way of paying) I pinged them back an email with copies of my monthly emails to them! Havent heard back from them yet!

    When I wrote to another super fund as the employee had left, to advise termination, they said that their trust deed said I had to give them 30 days notice! Well, their trust deed can take a hike - if I am not employing that person any longer I do not have to make any more 9% contributions for them! (9% x $0 = $0) Then they wanted me to sign a document stating that I didnt employ ANYONE who was eligible for the 9% contribution! Obviously I couldnt sign that because I do employ other eligible people - they just hadnt nominated this Super fund for their contributions! Oh, and if I did employ any eligible people and didnt pay their contributions and they had an accident, then it would be my risk to pay their Insurance!

    Good grief - who do they think they are!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Workcover killing small business

    Snake Pliskin There is one spect to be considered: small business and big business kills, injures and maims at times. People have rights in this area that should not be taken away. The red tape is pathetic though.
    23rd-September-2006 10:43 PM
    Protection of employees always comes first as Iím sure it does in most small business.And it always will.And if you are dumb enough not to have the insurances you basically can lose everything and go to jail if an employee injures themselves.Basically I think it is also morally wrong not to protect your workers.

    The problem is that workcover guidelines are so vague that they can move the posts anytime they like.A recent example; I was audited twice with the first being fine and the second I owed $7k.
    And for this year I amended my wages down for this year.Sent a fax, and made 2 phone calls to confirm with the insurance company 2 months ago.I have now received a letter saying payment is late on the higher estimated wages amount and that they did not receive the fax and the fact that the phone calls were made are irrelevant.

    So I now have to pay the full amount in the next few days and they are already charging interest.I asked what could be done (legal action ,cancel the policy etc) and they told me "nothing you have to pay, thereís nothing you can do about it".I was basically told what we say goes even the appeals process you have to go through workcover first.

    This isnít the first time I have had a problem with this type of thing seems like something comes up every year.Everyone I have spoken on the phone to seems clueless.It makes me wonder if they even bother making any record of these problems, even when I ask them to.

    This is just one aspect of a long list of problems that come up.Its not just from one area it pops up in dealing with the multitudes of agencies you are subjected too.Its frustrating work for someone who just wants to build things.

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