September communiqué

At its September meeting, the SIRA Board approved a new section (Part 8) of the Motor Accident Guidelines relating to taxis and hire vehicles, which introduces usage-based premiums based on distance travelled. These premiums for Point to Point vehicles, an industry that has undergone rapid change, are designed to reflect the risks more effectively. The new section is supplementary to Part 1 of the Motor Accident Guidelines (Premium determination). Members also approved consequential amendments to Part 1 (Premium Determination) of the Motor Accident Guidelines.

The Board devoted time to considering the Financial Services Royal Commission proceedings and action SIRA should take to enforce compliance by insurers in the mandatory insurance schemes which SIRA stewards. Members acknowledged the significance of witness testimony at the proceedings and agreed that the Board will consider the outcomes and their applicability for SIRA’s regulatory approach.

Board Members noted SIRA has commenced an evidence-based pilot compliance exercise in collaboration with the Australian Taxation Office. The intention of the pilot is to validate methods for identifying employers who have not taken out workers compensation insurance and evaluate possible compliance and enforcement interventions to address non-compliance by employers.

Members were pleased to note progress on the Young Drivers Telematics Trial, which commenced in July 2018. The project has advanced significantly, and the SIRA project team is working with the NSW Centre for Road Safety and the expert advisory group to finalise the research framework.

The Board noted an update on the Workers Compensation Claims Administration Manual (CAM) and Guidelines Review project. SIRA has commenced focussed consultation on the CAM Standards of Practice which outline mandatory requirements for workers compensation insurers. SIRA expects to conduct broad external consultation on the Guidelines during October 2018.

Other items considered at the September 2018 Board meeting included:

  • Members were provided an update on the progress of the NSW Government commitment to reform workers compensation dispute resolution arrangements.
  • Board Members noted an update on the implementation of section 39 and section 59A (limit on payment of compensation for medical expenses) of the Workers Compensation Act 1987.
  • The Board was provided an update on SIRA’s planned approach in response to results of the 2018 NSW People Matter Employee Survey (PMES), which was open to all employees across the NSW Government sector from Friday 1 June 2018 to Monday 2 July 2018. Members acknowledged an outstanding response rate of 95 percent of SIRA employees to the survey, and noted a SIRA-wide PMES Action Plan is being developed in consultation with SIRA employees.

Trevor Matthews
Chairperson, SIRA Board