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The Care Factor
GSA was introduced to A.H.Beard through WRM rehabilitation after the family owned bedding company encountered a difficult employee insurance claim. The introduction was to Mark Histon (HR/WHS Coordinator) and Gary Beard (Part Owner & Board Chairperson), to see if GSA could assist.
A.H.Beard had a workers compensation claim which had unfortunately not been well managed and the employee became entrenched in the Workers Compensation system, despite A.H.Beard's best efforts. The duration of the employee’s absence from work, since March 2017, significantly impacted A.H.Beard's premium.
Mark explained that A.H.Beard had an existing relationship with their broker, “We were happy with their service and we thought we just had to 'suck it up' and deal with having a bad claim impacting our premium”.
After being introduced to Dianne Thomas, Manager Workers Compensation from GSA, A.H.Beard were introduced to the Premium Risk Audit initiative. Mark explains, “Dianne informed us that she could apply for a premium relief application. We exchanged emails,
answered a few questions, then Dianne took control of the process, including developing and submitting the premium relief application”. Despite the bad claim, there were circumstances that has not been shared or taken in to account. This included the level of investment, commitment and focus A.H.Beard had been making for many years to put in place initiatives designed to benefit their employees and the wider community.
In addition, Mark had introduced return-to-work processes to assist employees to come back to work as quickly as possible. Developing relationships with Doctors, and other medical experts, who had an employer focus and experience in treating injured workers, engaging them in A.H.Beard’s process. While the proactive approach taken by A.H.Beard might not be unique, they recognise that “there is often a negative perception around workers compensation which permeates onto the floor”. They have pro-actively challenged and changed this mentality.
A pro-active initiative that supports this change, is the implementation of a thorough tasks analysis process which actively assists their workers re-engage with work by identifying the roles suitable to be performed.
The documents scientifically break down the tasks of specific roles and were compiled in-conjunction with Allied Health Rehabilitation personnel. Mark further explained that “someone who has hurt their back, could potentially return to work to conduct light sewing or error quality checking while they are recovering”.
Experience tells us that returning to work on other duties prevents employees from going “stir crazy” at home and can encourage them to recover quicker. This is a position supported by the Australiasian College of Physicians, who identify the importance of work to a person’s mental health, as well as the physiological benefits gained from gentle, incidental exercise during recovery.
All of these programs were closely aligned and supportive of iCare’s own vision, values, and initiatives that they encourage employers to put in place.
After liaising with Mark to understand the true history of the claim in much greater detail, and using the Premium Risk Audit, it became apparent that A.H.Beard had implemented rigorous programs around safety, and procedures to prevent any future injuries. Such initiatives had not been factored into the current premium calculations.
iCare were happy to assess further as they believe the premium should be a “true risk” calculation. Once the time, commitment, and attention to detail required had been taken, with the real facts presented to iCare, major changes were made to the premiums offered. A credit was provided back to A.H.Beard in the region of $350,000. Further, during the premium relief application process an assurance was obtained from iCare stating that recent claims performance would be considered when determining 19/20 premium costs. Mark explains that "A.H.Beard’s performance for 17/18 and so far 18/19 has been very good, they are confident that the 19/20 premium will be significantly discounted".
A.H.Beard were completely unaware that their broker could apply for premium relief. The feeling described by Mark was that they were “overjoyed” with the service from GSA. Mark was “so grateful that Di was so passionate about achieving justice for A.H.Beard”.
We call this the “Care Factor” Case Study because the evaluation, and investigation that was required to develop the premium relief application, was provided without being appointed as the broker. Dianne conducted all the work on good will, without any fee or guarantee of appointment.