State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) Changes Require NSW Employers to Update Return to Work Programs by May 2019

You may be aware of the recent changes announced by the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) requiring all NSW employers to have an up-to-date return to work program, to respond to work-related injury or illness, in place by May 2019.

NSW employers will need to have an up to date return to work program in place or update them in line with the latest Guidelines for Workplace Return to Work Programs by May 2019. A return to work program outlines the formal policy for employers in managing work related injury or illness and its important employer RTW programs comply with SIRA’s latest requirements.

The SIRA guidelines outline expectations regarding employer return to work programs as a foundation supporting an organisational culture of recovery at work. These guidelines are based on the Worker’s Compensation Act 1987, Workplace Injury management and Workers Compensation Act 1998 and the Workers Compensation Regulation 2016.

A return to work program provides a summary of the system the employers will use to manage workers with work related injuries or illness. The program must align with the employer’s insurer’s injury management program.

Altius Group Return to Work Coordinators have been working with employers to assist the to comply by May 2019, tailoring help to assist small to medium employers through to larger organisations.

Appointing a Return to Work Coordinator

The guidelines require all category 1 employers to appoint a Return to Work Coordinator as part of their program, who holds certain qualifications, training and experience. This may be a suitably experienced, certified (with required accreditation) employee. An employer can also engage the services of an external Return to Work Coordinator.

How We Help

Our team of allied health professionals are experienced, certified Engaged Return to Work Coordinators, well versed in the latest regulatory requirements in relation to return to work programs. We value helping our clients to navigate the complexities of injury management and the return to work process, to make it less challenging for employers.

In the lead up to the May 2019 deadline, we are working with our clients to:

  • Develop customised return to work programs.
  • Appoint Engaged Return to Work Coordinators or consult to them on how to create this position internally.
  • Consult workers and unions.
  • Implement the program.

What Does this mean for Small to Medium Employers?

We are able to scale our Return to Work Coordinator services to meet the needs of employers of all sizes, across a range of industries – in a way that is cost effective while still ensuring all regulatory changes are complied with.

Further information on our Return to Work Coordinator Service can be found here.

Or if you’d like to discuss this further with one of our Return to Work Coordinators please get in touch.

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