Have your say on the NSW self-insurance licensing framework

NSW State Regulatory Insurance Authority (SIRA) has released a discussion paper and report on potential workers compensation self-insurance licensing arrangements.

The release of the discussion paper and report is the second stage of SIRA’s review of NSW self-insurance arrangements which aims to develop an innovative self-insurer licensing framework that will provide strong, fair, results-focused regulation of insurers and improved outcomes for injured workers.

Under the NSW workers compensation system, employers can become licensed to insure their workers against workplace injuries and administer their own claims. SIRA licenses 55 self-insurers that make up approximately 11 per cent of claims in the NSW Workers Compensation Scheme.

The release of the self-insurance licensing framework review discussion paper includes a PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia (PwC) report containing recommendations on a new licensing framework.

Deputy Secretary Better Regulation, Department of Finance, Services and Innovation and Chief Executive of SIRA, Anthony Lean has encouraged self-insurers and stakeholders to have their say on the discussion paper.

“SIRA commenced a review of the self-insurance licensing scheme in August 2015 in an effort to achieve better workers compensation outcomes through smarter regulation,” Mr Lean said.

“PwC was engaged to assist with the review and has developed a report based on stakeholder responses to an issues paper which was released in November 2015.

“The report contains 16 recommendations on the design of a new licensing framework which, if adopted, would incentivise self-insurers to improve workers compensation outcomes by providing a level of earned autonomy for high performers which is supported by continuous assessment of self-insurer performance.

“Key recommendations include the implementation of a tiered supervisory model with top tier requirements, establishment of an integrated and automated data analysis system to regularly assess and report performance and an increase in the maximum licence term from three to eight years.

Mr Lean said following the consultation period, SIRA would release the Self-Insurance Licensing Framework in early 2017.

“Following the release of the new licensing framework, there will be a transitional period to enable self-insurers to adjust their operations to meet licensing requirements,” he said.

“SIRA intends to implement the new licensing framework by mid-2017 with the objective of establishing fit for purpose, best practice self-insurance licensing that incentivises self-insurer performance to achieve better outcomes through smarter regulation.”

NIBA Members who have comments on the proposals should provide them to NIBA CEO Dallas Booth at dbooth@niba.com.au. We would be grateful if comments could be provided by close of business on 21 October 2016.