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Experience rating : an Australian post mortem
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Kevin Purse
The use of experience-rating programmes by workers’ compensation schemes has become increasingly fashionable in Australia in recent decades. This has been in line with a broader policy agenda that has emphasised the use of market or quasi-market mechanisms as the preferred means of dealing with deep-seated social and economic problems. As in North America, there has been a widespread variation in the types of experience-rating programme used by Australian jurisdictions.This paper provides a case study review of the South Australian bonus and penalty scheme, the flagship experience-rating programme for the state’s workers’ compensation authority from 1990 to 2010. In doing so, it reviews findings from previous experience-rating research. It outlines the scheme’s genesis and the rationale underpinning its introduction, followed by a delineation of the scheme’s key design features and an examination of its operation over the past two decades. The paper concludes with an assessment of the scheme’s impact on workplace safety in South Australia, as well as suggestions for further research.