Purpose 3—Excellence in Scheme Management and Design

Working with scheme participants to achieve sustainable and better practice national schemes

PBS—Return to Work across scheme participants (the proportion of injured workers with 10 or more days off work for any period of time at some stage since they had their first day off work).

Corporate Plan—Return to work rates developed through the existing biennial Return to Work Survey indicating the rehabilitation outcomes achieved.

SOURCE TARGET
PBS component 1.2 Achieved target of 90 per cent in quarter 1 and 95 per cent in quarter 2
Corporate Plan Comcare Scheme return to work rate = 95 per cent

Result: 92 per cent (89 per cent in 2015–16)

Comcare’s ‘Return to work’ and ‘Current return to work’ performance information shown here is derived from the results of the ‘historic cohort’ on the 2017 Comcare Return to Work Survey. This historic cohort only reflects employees from premium paying agencies, who had 10 days or more off work and returned to work at any time since their injury. This cohort is a significantly smaller cohort than used for the full RTW survey.

Current return to work (CRTW) (that is, the percentage of injured workers with 10 or more days off work, who had submitted a claim 7–9 months prior to the survey, and who are working in a paid job at the time of the survey)

SOURCE TARGET
PBS component 1.2 Achieved target of 90 per cent in quarter 1 and 95 per cent in quarter 2

Result: 84 per cent (84 per cent in 2015–16)

See commentary at the RTW performance measure above.

Improve the financial sustainability of the scheme measured by notional premium rate.

SOURCE TARGET
Corporate Plan Comcare scheme notional premium rate = 1.21 per cent

For 2016–17 the notional premium rate target has been achieved, and is 1.03 per cent. This result is largely attributable to the improved premium rate arising from Comcare’s improved claims performance.

Employer satisfaction with scheme management.

SOURCE TARGET
PBS component 1.2 Employers are satisfied with management of the scheme—percentage and number of employers who are satisfied with management of the scheme.

Evidence shows an overall employer satisfaction rate with scheme management of approximately 97 per cent (up from 95 percent in 2015–16). From over 350 engagement activities, qualitative analysis undertaken demonstrates high levels of stakeholder engagement generally, with identified opportunities for improvement captured as part of business plan activities for 2017–18. Based on these results, the performance target is considered met.

Constructive and positive feedback was provided across the mix of engagement and positive feedback received in relation to new web products, such as the scheme performance web page, and better practice tools, such as the ‘Back to work, Back to team’ infographic which outlines practical actions that supervisors and co-workers can take to support a team member following injury.

Increased adoption of better scheme management assessed through qualitative review.

SOURCE TARGET
Corporate Plan Benchmark scheme(s) against better practice

Comcare has completed an initial exercise to benchmark the scheme against better practice. This exercise compared the Comcare scheme to better practice benchmarks identified by the Insurance Council of Australia, and comparison with other jurisdictions to consider the different approaches to similar scheme management functions. The high level assessment of this benchmarking exercise is that the Comcare scheme is meeting or has partially met almost all identified better practices.

Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (SRCC) satisfaction of support provided by Comcare

SOURCE TARGET
PBS component 1.3 Percentage and number of Commissioners satisfied with the quality of support provided

Service level performance measures are set, and reported on through SRCC meetings. Overall performance recorded a result of 89 per cent achieved to plan. No actions were required or requested by Commissioners in response to performance measures reported.

Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority (Seacare) satisfaction of support provided by Comcare

SOURCE TARGET
PBS component 1.3 Qualitative evaluation using structured interviews with members.

Performance measures are set, and reported on through Seacare Authority meetings. Overall performance recorded a result of 95 per cent achieved to plan. No actions were required or requested from members in response to performance measures reported.

Analysis of performance against Purpose 3

Comcare has a range of functions and powers under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act) that relate to the management of the Comcare scheme. These functions span the entire scheme including premium paying employers and self-insured licensees. Comcare’s objective in performing these functions is to be seen as a national leader in the design, implementation and management of the scheme and ensure our work improves work health and safety and rehabilitation outcomes.

Comcare’s positive scheme management performance in 2016–17 has been underpinned by strong stakeholder engagement with employers and providers, and other groups covered by the scheme.

We have provided high quality advice and assistance to self-insured licensees and premium paying agencies on a range of topics throughout 2016–17 including the development of a new scheme performance web page identifying key metrics and information on the Comcare scheme, capability statements and resources for specific roles in workers’ compensation and cost recovery arrangements for the 2016–17 and 2017–18 years.

Consistent positive feedback from the SRCC, Seacare Authority, and scheme employers indicates high levels of satisfaction with Comcare’s scheme management efforts.

In particular, Comcare has completed its support of the SRCC’s implementation of a revised, risk-based self-insurance regulatory model that reduces the regulatory burden on business with a focus on driving and achieving strong performance outcomes. A key component of the new model was to replace the previous three-tiered system with a risk-based, evidence driven framework focusing on self-insured licensee obligations under their licence.

The Comcare scheme continues to be an attractive option for eligible corporations. In 2016–17 Star Track Express Pty Ltd, Virgin Australia Airlines Pty Ltd, and Ron Finemore Transport Services Pty Ltd joined the scheme and 11 licensees extended their licences.

Comcare has significantly progressed work on rehabilitation and return to work. This year a project to review the Guidelines for Rehabilitation Authorities 2012 commenced with the launch of a discussion paper to obtain views on better practice rehabilitation in the scheme. Feedback on this paper will inform design improvements to current practices as well as the critical elements of a new legislative instrument.

We have released a capability ‘standard’ for Rehabilitation Case Managers in the Comcare scheme. Case managers now have access to supporting resources mapped against capabilities, including a new resource to enhance supervisor engagement with injury management and promote timely return to work.

Comcare released a consultation paper on the types of services a WRP may provide, the expected duration of those services, and sought feedback on appropriate costs for those services. This will lead to the issuing of fee guidance and assist Rehabilitation Case Managers with contract and service management.

Comcare has successfully published information and performance data about the scheme to help scheme employers benchmark their performance and to transparently provide information on scheme performance. This work has included the Comcare Compendium for WHS and workers’ compensation statistics 2015–16, contribution to Safe Work Australia national comparison publications, and the launch of our scheme performance web page.