Know your SIRA Return to Work obligations, to stay compliant and avoid penalties.

NSW Employers’ Return to Work obligations are stringent. Here’s how to best implement them.

The NSW ReturnTo Work (RTW) program represents an employer's commitment to the health, safety and recovery of workers following an incident. All employers in NSW are required by law to have a program in place, with general procedures for managing work-related injury or illness.

Your RTW program must:

  • be developed in consultation with your workers and any industrial union representing them
  • be consistent with your insurer's injury management program
  • comply with the RTW Guidelines for workplace return to work programs
  • be accessible and communicated to the workforce.

SIRA Inspectors are stringent on compliance failures.

Since 2022, SIRA’s new RTW Inspectorate have been actively engaging NSW employers, issuing on-the-spot improvement notices for compliance failures. These audits have included a focus on injury notifications and whether the register of injuries reflects icare claims data.

SIRA requires that ‘all workplace injuries’ are reported to the insurer; issuing improvement notices where this has failed to occur.  And whilst many employers in the scheme focus on a common-sense approach of lodging injuries which ‘may’ result in medical treatment or time lost, this is not in line with the legislation.

We are yet to hear of an employer successfully arguing this approach.

Avoid Improvement Notices.

Improvement notices include the direction to lodge all outstanding injuries, which requires the insurer to complete initial contacts with all workers and issue a provisional liability decision. There is no option of ‘notification only’ lodgements without worker contact. SIRA has issued fines for employers failing to comply with improvement notices.

Employer RTW obligations are substantial, and time consuming.

There are 7 key legal obligations employers must meet to be compliant through SIRA audits

  • A valid certificate of currency for all employing entities.
  • A valid return to work program.
  • A register of injuries which aligns with icare data.  
  • Displaying ‘If You Get Injured at Work’ posters.
  • A qualified RTW coordinator.
  • Evidence suitable duties have been supplied to injured workers.
  • Ensuring any compensation monies are passed onto workers as soon as possible.

We’ll help you get the right program in place, and avoid penalties for non-compliance.

GSA are offering clients a RTW compliance service, working directly with you to implement the key obligations, so you meet your requirements in NSW, and minimise the potential of an improvement notice, or fines being issued. 

We’re here to help you implement a compliant RTW program.

As is often the case with new programs, implementation can be confusing and time consuming. Please feel free to get in touch with me and I’ll be happy to assist you in developing an efficient, compliant RTW program.


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