Assessing licence applications
We have the power to grant a self-insurance licence to eligible applicants and to extend the term of a licence, under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act).
Process after an application is received
1. Comcare evaluates the licence application
When an application for a licence to self-insure is received, Comcare undertakes a rigorous evaluation of the application, on behalf of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (SRCC).
The activities undertaken by Comcare in evaluating a self-insurance licence application include assessing:
- the financial viability of the applicant, to ensure sufficient resources. This includes obtaining expert and independent financial advice
- the applicant's prevention, rehabilitation and workers' compensation management systems and transition plans
- the past performance and conduct of the applicant in relation to prevention, rehabilitation, claims management, and work health and safety. This includes reviewing information from state and territory regulatory authorities
- the applicant’s consultation with its employees
- any submission made by unions representing employees of the applicant. See Make a submission to the SRCC for more information on this process.
- the applicant’s evidence in relation to the primary criteria in the section 7A Ministerial direction.
2. Comcare prepares recommendations
Comcare prepares recommendations to the SRCC about the licence applicant, based on its evaluation against the SRCC’s requirements for the grant of a self-insurance licence.
3. SRCC considers the application
The SRCC considers the application for self-insurance at the SRCC quarterly meetings.
In deciding whether an applicant should be granted a licence to self-insure under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (the SRC Act), the SRCC looks at:
- information supplied in the written application
- information collected as part of the application evaluation process
- any other matter that the SRCC considers relevant to the granting of the self-insurance licence.
4. SRCC makes a decision
The SRCC can decide to:
- grant a self-insurance licence to the applicant, or
- not grant a self-insurance licence to the applicant.
If a self-insured licensee disagrees with the SRCC decision, it can follow the dispute resolution process for licensing decisions.
Factors that are considered
In making a decision, the SRCC considers:
Applicant's capacity and employee interests
The applicant’s resources, the interests of employees, and the capacity of the applicant to meet standards set by the SRCC for claims management, rehabilitation and occupational health and safety.
Financial and prudential information
Financial and prudential information, such as the financial viability of the organisation, evidence of funding of liabilities and obtaining the required guarantee.
Claims management systems information
Claims management systems information, including ability to ensure accurate and quick determinations and payments, ensuring equity of outcomes and the capacity to comply with licence conditions.
Applicant's past performance
The applicant’s past performance in complying with applicable laws and statutory guidelines relating to the health and safety of employees, rehabilitation of employees, premium payment and claims management obligations.
See Guidance on Self-Insurance Licence Application Evaluations (PDF, 340.5 KB) for more information on the factors that the SRCC considers in deciding whether an applicant should be granted a licence to self-insure. These guidelines were adopted by the SRCC to bring clarity and openness to its processes for self-insurance licence applications and extensions.
The SRC Act, the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Regulations 2019, (SRC Regulations) and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Directions 2019 (SRC Directions) set out the matters to be considered by the SRCC in deciding whether to grant a self-insurance licence.
Compliance with Ministerial Direction section 7A
The applicant’s evidence addressing the requirements in the Direction that:
- it is a member of a corporate group in which a majority of employees in the corporate group are, at the time of the application, covered by the SRC Act; and
- the licence would not result in an overall reduction in workers’ compensation entitlements for the employees of the applicant to be covered by the SRC Act.
The legislation does not specify a timeframe for the evaluation of applications by Comcare, on behalf of the SRCC. This can vary depending on the complexity of the application and information provided.
An applicant that is prepared and has the capacity to meet all self-insurance licence requirements will enable the evaluation process to be carried out in a timely manner.
In accordance with our principles and protocols, the SRCC may only consider applications if they are received more than 12 weeks before the SRCC meeting. These protocols ensure that the SRCC has sufficient time to consider self-insurance licence applications and extensions before a scheduled SRCC meeting.
For more information, see Timeframes and protocols.
- Guidance on Self-Insurance Licence Application Evaluations (PDF, 340.5 KB) provides details on application requirements and the evaluation process
- Self-insurance Process flow chart for corporations (PDF, 437.9 KB) which illustrates the process in becoming a self-insured licensee.