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February communiqué

At its first meeting for 2020, the SIRA Board thanked and acknowledged the outstanding efforts of firefighters and other emergency service workers and volunteers over an unprecedented bushfire season. The Board noted measures undertaken by SIRA to work with all NSW compensation insurers to understand and discuss their approaches to supporting affected workers with a work-related injury.

Board Members expressed disappointment with the progress on the joint SIRA and icare 21-point Action Plan developed in response to the Compliance and Performance Review of the Workers Compensation Nominal Insurer scheme (managed by icare).The Board also noted recent analysis provided by EY scheme actuaries on the performance of the Nominal Insurer and updates on other regulatory actions taken by SIRA, particularly to improve claims management with the ultimate objective of improving return to work results.

The Board noted updates and continues to monitor the uptake of support programs and other initiatives available for workers affected by section 39 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 (the Act) who have subsequently been affected by section 59A of the Act.

Board Members received updates on the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Scheme which is performing in line with expectations. The Board was informed that the average all vehicles premium for December 2019 was $509 compared to $544 twelve months previously. The Board was also interested to see some pioneering analysis of a composite data base formed by linking motor vehicle crash, hospital records and CTP claims data.

The Board was pleased to note that responses have been received from key stakeholders  following the release the of the Measuring Return to Work (RTW) discussion paper as part of SIRA’s public consultation aimed at investigating how the measurement of RTW metrics could be strengthened across the schemes SIRA regulates.

Board Members endorsed in principle a document which describes SIRA’s Regulatory Approach and will soon be published on the SIRA website. It sets out SIRA’s desired outcomes, our goals, the roles of the regulator and the regulatory principles that we will follow to ensure fair, secure and efficient markets, and that injured people get the right treatment and support when they need it.

Other matters at the February 2020 Board meeting included:

  • discussing current activities related to SIRA’s organisational realignment as it relates to SIRA’s future strategic direction;
  • a presentation of an independent review of SIRA’s organisational health by a representative from Bendelta; and
  • continuing discussions on the current issues related to the building and construction industry.

Trevor Matthews

Chairperson

SIRA Board