Are you ready? New return to work program requirements for New South Wales

February 12, 2019
| Australia

As of 31 May, all New South Wales (NSW) employers must ensure their Return to Work (RTW) program complies with new guidelines issued by the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA).

While having a current RTW program is mandatory for all NSW employers, there are further specific and individually-tailored requirements for ‘Category 1’ employers.

Category 1 – does your business fit the bill? Under the guidelines, category 1 employers are defined as:

  • Having a basic tariff premium (average performance premium) of more than $50,000 or,
  • Are self-insured or,
  • Are insured by a specialised insurer and have over 20 employees

The RTW program should document how you will manage work-related injuries and illnesses, include relevant policies, procedures and key party responsibilities, and how your business will support a safe, timely and durable recovery at work for your workforce.

If you are a Category 1 employer, the RTW program involves these key activities:

  1. Appoint a Return to Work Coordinator
  2. Develop a RTW program, including consultation with workers and/or their representatives
  3. Implement the program

Actions Required

If your current RTW program was not developed in alignment with the SIRA guidelines or has not been reviewed in the last two years, you will need to review, update and implement a new one before May 31 2019.

In addition to meeting the updated SIRA guidelines, the RTW program must be developed to reflect your insurer’s Injury Management program. This ensures a consistent and cooperative approach by all parties involved in the RTW process.

Willis Towers Watson has extensive experience in workers’ compensation and RTW programs, in a variety of industries and workplace settings. Our dedicated Workplace Risk team supports clients to meet and exceed their RTW obligations by implementing best practice policies and procedures to ensure positive RTW outcomes for your business and workforce.

If you have any questions about your RTW obligations, the development of a compliant and best practice RTW program, or how you can improve workplace injury management and WHS then please contact our Workplace Risk team.