icare repair continues with board shakeup
The NSW Government will introduce new laws to improve workers compensation governance by appointing an employer and employee nominee to the icare Board.
The Minister for Work Health and Safety Sophie Cotsis said it was critical that injured workers and premium-paying businesses were given a seat at the board table to support ongoing reform.
Two suitably qualified employer and employee directors will be nominated by employer and employee bodies and will also replace two non-executive directors, leaving the size and cost of the icare Board unchanged with 9 directors.
Employers and Unions NSW will have a formal say in the process, with both groups nominating a non-executive director.
Legislation to amend the State Insurance and Care Governance Act 2015 for the board changes will be introduced to NSW Parliament on Wednesday 28 June.
icare provides workers compensation for about 330,000 business and 3.4 million workers in NSW, managing about 60,000 new claims each year.
Under the former government’s oversight a $140 million IT contract was awarded in a 7-day tender and an $18 million contract was awarded without tender to the Liberal Party's printer and a major donor.
In 2018, icare launched a model where new claims were largely managed by a single claims service provider – a move which injured workers and businesses have agreed was a disaster. icare is now moving away from this model.
Minister for Industrial Relations and Work Health and Safety Sophie Cotsis said:
“Return-to-work rates and the dissatisfaction felt by many injured workers highlight the need for a diversity of views and more robust decision-making on the icare Board.”
“It will take years to fix a decade of neglect of the workers compensation system, but this bill marks the beginning of our wider reform plans in this space.”
“Appointing employer and employee nominees to the icare Board will ensure these important perspectives are heard in the icare boardroom.”
“I made it clear that the new government had different expectations and the board plays a critical role in working together to ensure fiscally sustainable schemes, better claims management, timely medical diagnosis and treatment to support recovery and improved return to work outcomes.”
“icare knows that this improvement and reform journey is ongoing. There will be more steps to come.”