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Regulatory action for breach of licence
The Australian Postal Corporation (Australia Post) will be subject to regulatory action after an investigation found the corporation breached its self-insurance licence conditions under the Commonwealth workers’ compensation scheme.
The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (SRCC), in its role of regulating self-insurers under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act), has imposed new controls on Australia Post following an investigation.
A complaint from a former Australia Post employee alleged that individuals in the corporation had delayed decisions on workers’ compensation claims to benefit financially from meeting internal performance targets.
The SRCC’s investigation found evidence of delays in processing claims to meet Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate targets in 2012-13 and 2013-14. The deliberate delays in claims processing breached the corporation’s self-insurance licence conditions, specifically:
- compliance with the SRC Act and the SRCC’s Performance Standards and Measures; and
- the requirements to manage claims guided by equity, good conscience and the substantial merits of the case.
The SRCC has agreed a regulatory response imposing new conditions on Australia Post’s self-insurance licence. The new licence conditions include:
- Comcare conducting targeted reviews of Australia Post’s claims files for the next three years to ensure there are no further delays in claims processing or manipulation of reporting.
- Australia Post providing annual written confirmation from the Principal Officer that practices to delay workers’ compensation claims or manipulate reporting are not occurring.
The SRCC also directed Australia Post provide redress to any disadvantaged claimants within six months and inform its Board, Minister and employees of the licence breach and steps taken to rectify it.