Fact File

Below is a series of facts in respect of key matters that have been raised recently.

Pre-injury average weekly earnings (PIAWE)

  • The complexity in accurately calculating pre-injury average weekly earnings (PIAWE) has been widely recognised since 2013.
  • All NSW workers compensation insurers rely on income details from the injured worker's employer. If a worker says the details are wrong, they have always been able to raise this with the insurer and obtain a correction.
  • The Nominal Insurer reviewed the calculation comprehensively in 2019 following the implementation of a new IT system. 
  • Errors in the calculation have been found from as far back as 2012, three years before the establishment of icare. 
  • Initial estimates were of under, and over, payments totalling up to $80 million for 52,000 workers. After further claim reviews it is now thought that this estimate is a significant overestimation. 
  • We have started paying affected workers what they are they are owed.
  • Any injured worker who feels they were underpaid can contact us and have their file reviewed at any time. 

IT System

  • The new IT platform designed, built and rolled out since 2016 has given the Nominal Insurer control of the policy and claims systems for the first time, allowing 24/7 real time information. 
  • Since inception the project has:
    • contributed to the generation of savings of $469 million
    • claims-related efficiencies of $214 million and
    • actuarial valuation changes of $313 million
    • identified the historic PIAWE miscalculations
    • generated $1.6 billion in premium savings.
  • The Nominal Insurer invested $272 million to build and operate the new system to manage the 65,000 claims and 320,000 policies each year. 
    • $168 million to build the new system
    • $104 million to run it
  • $74.3 million has also been spent to maximise the gains from the technology platform by changing processes, redirecting claim files and for wider system transformation.
  • Capgemini was the technology consultant which integrated the Guidewire software system. Capgemini was chosen by Guidewire as its integration partner to develop the new policy and billing system. The integration of the common claims platform occurred later, without Capgemini. 

Return to work

  • Getting injured workers back to work as soon as safely possible is our highest priority. After initial glitches with our new IT system, the data showed some improvement before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. We were not happy with the performance and significant effort continues to go in to improving this. The data shows that since the onset of COVID-19, return to work has again deteriorated.   
  • Data for March shows return to work for the Nominal Insurer at 80 per cent after 26 weeks and 84 per cent for the Treasury Managed Fund. Specialised insurers over this same period were achieving 85 per cent return to work and self-insurers 86 per cent.
  • The Nominal Insurer is a default insurer and an insurer of 'last resort' and so some lag behind self and specialised insurers is not unexpected.   

Contracts

  • icare has completed a remediation program that includes the disclosure of contracts information to the NSW Government’s eTendering website.
  • The Nominal Insurer seeks to align procurement with NSW Government principles and requirements, and will make the relevant contract information public where possible. 
  • icare aligns its procurement with legislative requirements and NSW government guidelines, including limited, or open tenders. icare can use the 'whole of NSW' government prequalification scheme, which requires a competitive tender for any contract exceeding $250,000, and it can also 'piggyback' off an existing whole of government tender or use a sole-sourced contract where there is only a single provider.
  • icare will continue to provide details of material contracts in its annual report. 

NSW Audit Office

  • The NSW Audit Office audits the icare accounts and as part of this reviews the scheme valuations each year.
  • Representatives of the NSW Audit Office also attend all of the meetings of the Audit and Risk Committee of the icare board. This committee met seven times in the 2018-2019 financial year alone. 

Travel

  • icare representatives attend business events such as conferences and meetings in accordance with NSW Treasury guidelines, with the aim of driving better business outcomes.
  • Since icare's inception in 2015, representatives of icare have taken 36 overseas trips.
  • In previous icare annual reports, some inconsistencies in the reporting of overseas travel have been identified and these are being rectified.
  • In the future, all overseas travel will be disclosed in the icare annual report, irrespective of who paid for the trip. 

Medical costs

  • Containing medical costs is the responsibility of many stakeholders across the workers compensation system.
  • The Nominal Insurer has the responsibility to ensure injured workers get the treatment they need when they need it and to ensure medical practitioners are not over-servicing. 
  • The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) sets the overall rates paid to medical practitioners for each service.
  • The rise in medical costs has placed significant pressure on the NSW workers compensation system over many years, and is the responsibility of all parties to ensure this is addressed.
  • icare is working with service providers to address issues with over-servicing and with SIRA to address medical cost inflation.  

Remuneration

  • icare was explicitly set up with its staffing and leadership remuneration requirements residing outside of the Government Sector Employment Act so it could compete for talent in the broader insurance market, and was considered necessary by NSW Parliament due to icare’s assets and liabilities. This ensures icare is able to attract and retain specialised industry expertise and skills.
  • icare’s Board of Directors and People and Remuneration Committee sets the remuneration policy, which establishes how icare leaders are paid. This is reviewed every two years using independent external consultants with expertise in executive remuneration. The independent review ensures icare’s remuneration practices meet best practice standards set in the publicly listed company environment with remuneration recommendations coming out of the Banking Royal Commission.
  • The Board sets the remuneration of the chief executive. The People and Remuneration Committee sets the remuneration of the group executives. icare takes governance of these arrangements seriously and our remuneration practices for leaders are conducted in accordance with the standards expected of publicly listed companies.
  • Most people at icare above grade 12 and who are on individual employment agreements have fixed remuneration which includes superannuation and a performance component. A small number have a long-term performance component, which was introduced when icare was created as a key retention tool during a period of significant transformation. This is normal industry practice.
  • In our 2020 annual report icare will report senior executive remuneration similarly to publicly listed companies, as part of a commitment to transparency and accountability.
  • icare’s remuneration policy targets fixed remuneration tied to the market median and allows a +/- 15 per cent adjustment to allow for skills, experience and, where appropriate, relativities. Where an executive role is in high demand – for example following the Banking Royal Commission there has been a significant increase in demand for some risk and compliance roles – a role may be paid outside of this range. All group executive roles, other than General Executive Service Delivery, have their fixed and variable remuneration set at or below the market median, in accordance with the policy. The general executive service delivery remuneration is above the remuneration policy based on a ‘grandfathering’ arrangement when the incumbent changed roles. This is a common practice in organisations when valued employees move laterally in roles.
  • Long term incentives are an important executive retention tool to ensure continuity of leadership over long term transformation periods. icare has made only one long term incentive payment, which was in 2019 for the FY16-19 period. Long term incentive plans have objectives set out that must be met over a three year period with payment at the end of this time frame if targets are met.
  • Remuneration increases for leaders are considered by the People and Remuneration Committee in accordance with percentage and effective dates applied by the Statutory and Other Offices Remuneration Tribunal (SOORT) for Public Service Senior Executives.

icare Group Executive remuneration – 2019/2020 Financial Year

Name Role title Total remuneration
John Nagle Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director $700,000
Nick Allsop1 Group Executive Care $430,000
Elizabeth Uehling2 Group Executive Personal Injury Claims $450,669
Sara Kahlau3 Group Executive Customer & Community $183,989
Sam Liston4 Group Executive People & Workplace $467,057
Don Ferguson5 Group Executive Strategy & Governance $471,154
Rashi Bansal Group Executive Organisational Performance $445,611
Andrew Ziolkowski Group Executive Prevention & Underwriting $488,822 
Rob Craig6 Group Executive Digital & Technology $548,588
Caroline Rockett7 Group Executive Digital & Technology  $18,798
  1. Nick Allsop was Group Executive Care and subsequently, appointed Group Executive Care on 1 January 2020. 
  2. Elizabeth Uehling was appointed permanently as Group Executive Personal Injury Claims on 13 August 2019. She was Group Executive Workers Insurance in an acting capacity prior to this. 
  3. Sara Kahlau was promoted to Group Executive Customer and Community on 1 January 2020. The amount reflects time in role.  
  4. Sam Liston was Chief Human Resources Officer and subsequently, promoted to Group Executive People & Workplace on 1 January 2020.
  5. Don Ferguson was Group Executive Organisational Development and Delivery until appointment to Group Executive Strategy and Governance on 1 January 2020.
  6. Rob Craig was Group Executive Strategy and Enablement until he was appointed Group Executive Digital & Technology on 18 November 2019. He commenced the role Group Executive Service Delivery on 1 July 2020.
  7. Caroline Rockett commenced on 15 June 2020. The amount reflects time in role. 

Note: No icare Group Executives received any short-term or long-term 'At risk payments' for the 2019/2020 Financial Year.