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SIRA bulletin - Issue 12

Consultation: New SIRA Psychological injury standard of practice for insurers

SIRA is now consulting on a new Standard of practice for insurers managing psychological injury claims.

The updated Standard of practice outlines SIRA expectations for insurers handling claims for workers with a psychological injury. It is being designed to help insurers adopt practices across four key evidence-based domains:

  • person-centred approach
  • collaboration
  • early identification of support needs
  • outcome focused decision-making

These domains are described in the Safe Work Australia publication Taking Action: A best practice framework for the management of psychological claims in the Australian workers’ compensation sector. SIRA has previously endorsed this publication and it has the broad support of workers compensation schemes across Australia.

Provide feedback on the draft Standard of practice by 5pm, Friday 23 October 2020.

Consultation: icare and Workers’ Compensation Independent Review

The NSW Government has opened consultation to inform the Independent Review of Insurance and Care NSW (icare), the workers compensation scheme and the five-year statutory review of the State Insurance and Care Governance Act 2015 (SICG Act).

The matters in scope for this Review are:

  • a comprehensive organisational review of icare
  • the structure and sustainability of the nominal insurer and treasury managed fund workers’ compensation schemes
  • the statutory review required by section 32 of the SICG Act

The NSW Government invites stakeholders to submit their feedback based on the Review’s Terms of Reference.

Consultation closes 30 October 2020, have your say now.

Consultation: Legal Support review for injured people in NSW CTP scheme

SIRA is currently reviewing the provision of legal support for injured people in the compulsory third-party (CTP) insurance scheme under the Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017.

Legal representation plays an important part in ensuring injured people have the necessary support to access their entitlements under the CTP scheme.

SIRA has had feedback that the current legal costs structure could be improved to ensure injured people are able to access timely and affordable legal support in the scheme.

The review will assess if the current legislative, regulatory and service provision of legal support is promoting the objects of the Act.

The review will also consider the feasibility of expanding the Independent Legal Assistance and Review Service (ILARS), as well as the role and alignment of SIRA’s Legal Advisory Service (LAS) in the suite of supports injured people are able to access in the CTP scheme.

You are invited to provide your feedback of the Review of Legal Support by completing the online form by 5pm, Sunday 1 November 2020.

Consultation: IPART review of the home building compensation scheme

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has released draft recommendations to improve home building compensation in NSW and regulate icare’s prices. These recommended changes would influence matters administered by SIRA, icare, NSW Fair Trading and the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

You are invited to provide your feedback and help inform the final recommendations. Consultation closes 16 October 2020 and final recommendations will be passed on to the Government in November.

Support4Work small business grant extended

The Support4work grant provides financial support to small businesses impacted by COVID-19 in the process of returning employees to work who have had a motor vehicle or work-related injury.

Due to the continuing economic impact of COVID-19, Support4work has been extended to 31 March 2021. It will continue to offer $4,000 to approved small businesses in two payments over a 10-week period.

Case study: A steel fabrication business received the Support4work grant resulting in a worker returning to work for 16 hours a week. A great outcome for a small business and its workers.

Visit the SIRA website for information, guidance material, updated eligibility criteria and the application form for the Support4Work small business grant.

This Safe Work Month focuses on mentally healthy workplaces

October is national Safe Work Month and this year the focus is on mentally healthy workplaces. It is a particularly relevant theme for the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on work in 2020.

SIRA is hosting a number of virtual events including the launch of the SIRA Mental health lived experience framework, and an event in partnership with the NSW Mental Health Commission. In the meantime, check out the recovery @ work toolkit SIRA has developed with SafeWork NSW.

Follow us on LinkedIn for more information about these events.

New insurance exemption guidance for ‘built-in furniture work’

Some projects to make and install built-in furniture in homes may be exempt from insurance under the home building compensation scheme. SIRA has published new guidance and example scenarios to help licensed contractors understand which types of project need insurance, and which are exempt.

Webinar: Better pain management approaches

Chronic pain is one of the most prevalent conditions following injuries at work or on the road. To inform better clinical and case management, SIRA recently commissioned a review into better approaches to managing pain.

While the review found little evidence to support the sole use of pain medication or medical interventions to relieve chronic pain, it concluded that the management of chronic pain generally requires a broad, ‘whole person’ treatment approach addressing the multiple and interrelated aspects of pain and lifestyle.

Join Professor Ian Cameron from the John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research  at 12-1pm, Wednesday 21 October, as he presents an overview of the review findings via webinar and answers questions about best practice pain management. Register today.

Read the Better pain management approaches rapid review - PDF and the one page summary of the review Infographic better pain management approaches rapid review - PDF.

Latest home building compensation scheme data now available

As the regulator of the home building compensation scheme, SIRA collects and publishes data from insurers to monitor the operation of the scheme. See the latest data covering the period up to December 2019 on the SIRA website.

Consultation: Regulatory requirements for workplace rehabilitation service provision in NSW personal injury schemes

SIRA is seeking input from stakeholders on the NSW policy and framework underpinning the approval, engagement and performance of workplace rehabilitation providers. The review aims to inform the future service provision and regulatory framework to achieve:

  • improved recovery and return to work performance for people in NSW personal injury schemes
  • a value and outcome-based policy framework, and
  • a sustainable provider market, ensuring availability of services.

A discussion paper on the regulatory requirements for workplace rehabilitation service provisions in NSW personal injury schemes has been released. For the purposes of the discussion paper, workplace rehabilitation refers to the breadth of services, supports and interventions designed to assist people with an injury or illness achieve their recovery and return to work goals.

For more information and to have your say, visit the consultation page on the SIRA website. Consultation closes 20 November 2020.

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Contact SIRA on 1300 656 919 for any CTP enquiries or on 13 10 50 for workers compensation and home building enquiries. You can also email us at contact@sira.nsw.gov.au.