SIRA Logo

SIRA bulletin - Issue 7

Regulatory approach principles

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) has adopted regulatory principles that will inform its work as it continues to adapt to the changing environment, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

SIRA’s role is to ensure that the workers compensation, compulsory third party (CTP) and home building compensation insurance schemes are fair, effective and affordable for policy holders. SIRA must also steward the schemes to ensure that people who claim compensation are supported to recover both today and in the future.

SIRA’s regulatory approach has adapted to respond to new priorities and expectations, including learnings from the Hayne Banking and Finance Royal Commission, the Australia Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) Capability Review and now the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are 10 principles that will underpin SIRA’s regulatory approach and guide its decisions. The principles help to set SIRA’s focus and how it engages on matters of scheme design and compliance.  

The 10 regulatory approach principles are:

  • Customer focus - Everything SIRA does is guided by protecting the interests of its customers – the policyholders and people who make claims now, and in the future
  • Responsiveness - SIRA is responsive to changing community expectations and to public scrutiny
  • Stewardship - SIRA understands that administering the law is just part of its responsibility as scheme steward
  • Consultation - SIRA consults widely and often to make better decisions and deliver better outcomes
  • Evidence - SIRA relies on evidence and does what works – not just what is expected or easy
  • Innovation - SIRA is always looking for innovative ways to improve outcomes
  • Efficiency - SIRA builds future capability through current challenges, applies it across schemes and leverages others’ work
  • Fairness - SIRA makes its expectations clear, and treats everyone fairly and with respect
  • Information - SIRA actively publishes information on scheme and provider performance, and makes data more useful
  • Accountability - SIRA takes strong enforcement action when needed, based on the degree of harm or negligence, or the need for deterrence

For ongoing transparency, more information about SIRA’s mission and these principles are available on the SIRA website. If you have any feedback on our regulatory approach principles, please email us at contact@sira.nsw.gov.au

Support4work grant for small business

SIRA is offering a $4000 Support4Work grant to eligible small businesses to help them support the recovery at work of employees with a workers compensation or motor accidents claim.

The financial incentive will encourage small businesses to prioritise an injured person’s return to work as their operations resume. Research shows that return to work promotes recovery and reduces the risk of long-term disability and work loss following an injury.

The grant will be paid in two instalments of $2000, with the first payment made upon the injured person’s return to the workplace and the second payment made following confirmation that the person’s return to work is continuing after five weeks.

Find more information and apply at the SIRA website, before the program ends on 30 September 2020.

Mentally healthy workplaces

During this period of rapid change, it is now more important than ever to keep people mentally healthy at work. SIRA aims to support mental health recovery at work through its partnership in the NSW Mentally healthy workplaces strategy.

There are two new programs on offer:

1. Recovery Boost $50,000 grants

SIRA is funding the Recovery Boost program which provides grants of up to $50,000 for individuals and organisations that come up with innovative solutions to improve mental health at work. If you have an idea that inspires positive change and mentally healthy workplaces, lodge your expression of interest online before 6 August 2020.

2. COVID-19 recovery@work toolkit

SIRA has launched a simple, evidence-informed toolkit to help workplaces to maintain positive mental health. It provides a one-stop shop for tips and resources to help with adjusting to new ways of working. You can access the toolkit on the Mental Health at Work website.

Improving psychological injury claim management

SIRA is looking to gather industry expertise on the management of psychological injury claims in the workplace.

If you are involved in supporting people with psychological injuries to stay at work or return to work, you are invited to participate in a short survey to share your experiences. You can also choose to opt-in to discussion forums to share more about your expertise in the prevention of, and recovery from, psychological injuries at work.

Your participation will help SIRA to identify strategies that can improve the management of psychological injury claims.

Find more information and complete the survey online, before it closes on 17 July 2020.