SIRA launches return to work inspectorate

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SIRA launches return to work inspectorate

7 November 2022

NSW’s State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) has established a new team of inspectors to ensure employers are fulfilling requirements for workers returning from injury.

SIRA says the team will target NSW employers “through a range of compliance, enforcement and advisory efforts,” to track that obligations for returning workers are being met.

SIRA CEO Adam Dent says inspectors will be targeting employers with ongoing or recent compensation claims, if SIRA has identified a worker as having a higher risk of a poor return to work outcome, or if the regulator has information to suggest the employer is not meeting required standards

“We’re committed to doing what we can to promote and enforce compliance with the practices that we know underpin positive return to work outcomes,” Mr Dent said.

Mr Dent says inspectors can enter workplaces and issue “on the spot fines” when workers’ compensation requirements are not being met but emphasises informing employers of steps it can take to reduce the risk of adverse outcomes for returning workers.

“Our inspectors are educating employers in how to support workers to return to work after an injury, as well as issuing improvement and penalty notices where employer practices are not up to standard,” Mr Dent said.

“Employers have a substantial impact on a worker’s recovery so our focus is on stamping out bad practices that can lead to a delayed recovery.”

SIRA says the new inspectorate is one of ten actions it has committed as part of its return-to-work plan to address poor return-to-work standards in the state.