Return to work program – Category 1 employers

Category 1 employers have an average performance premium of over $50,000 per year, are self-insured or are insured by a specialist insurer and have more than 20 employees.

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) equivalent for 'average performance premium' is 'basic tariff premium'.

Employers must have a return to work (RTW) program in place within 12 months of becoming a Category 1 employer. The RTW program must align with their insurer’s injury management program and meet legal obligations by:

  • appointing a return to work coordinator
  • developing and implementing a tailored RTW program in consultation with workers and any unions representing them.
  • reviewing the RTW program regularly (within 24 months). 

Employers can download SIRA's 8 requirements for return to work programs (PDF, 0.1 MB) to help them understand their legal obligations under the NSW workers compensation legislation. Reviewing this document will help employers to develop or confirm that their RTW program meets their legal obligations.

Build your return to work program

What are the benefits of a return to work program?

A man in a warehouse wearing a safety vest and holding a tablet

It's in everyone's best interest to help injured employees recover at work or return to employment as soon as their recovery allows.

By implementing effective RTW programs, employers not only benefit from a more engaged workforce and reduced lost time, but also reduced premiums.

Simplifying Workers Compensation in 30: Return To Work program webinar

In this session, you will learn how the Return to work hub can support your business to better manage workers compensation claims, improve return to work outcomes for injured workers, develop a RTW program and how to meet SIRA's legislative requirements.


  • David Huxley, Relationship Manager
  • Jon Price-Randall, Service Proposition Specialist
  • Kate Mayers, Strategic Employer Best & Less representative.

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