Safe Work Australia Corporate Plan 2020–2024
Safe Work Australia was established under the Safe Work Australia Act 2008 (Cth) (the SWA Act) and operates in accordance with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (Cth). However, where the two Acts are inconsistent with respect to corporate plan requirements, the SWA Act prevails.
Consistent with section 27(2) of the SWA Act, this Corporate Plan covers a four-year period from 2020-2024 and deals only with the outcomes to be achieved by Safe Work Australia and the strategies that are to be followed to achieve those outcomes. Notwithstanding the four-year outlook of the Corporate Plan, the intended outcome and strategies are reviewed and updated annually.
Safe Work Australia delayed publication of its Corporate Plan from mid-2020 to January 2021 in accordance with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Amendment (Corporate Plans) Rules 2020. This decision was taken to allow Safe Work Australia and its Members to focus on developing work health and safety (WHS) guidance material and information to assist in ensuring the safety of all working Australians, and the broader community, as the COVID-19 pandemic developed.
Safe Work Australia’s outcome
Consistent with Safe Work Australia’s Portfolio Budget Statement, the outcome intended from Safe Work Australia’s Corporate Plan is for healthier, safer and more productive workplaces through improvements to Australian work health and safety and workers’ compensation arrangements.
Strategies to achieve this outcome
Strategies to help achieve Safe Work Australia’s outcome are developed in consultation with Safe Work Australia Members - a tripartite body representing the interests of the Commonwealth, states and territories, as well as workers and employers in Australia, and are agreed by work health and safety (WHS) ministers.
These strategies are designed to:
- achieve reductions in the incidence of work-related death, injury and illness
- improve support for families impacted by a workplace death
- improve outcomes for injured workers and their employers
- use our collective influence to increase knowledge and awareness of WHS and workers’ compensation, and
- ensure sound and useful WHS and workers’ compensation research, analysis and data.
In working with Safe Work Australia Members to develop these strategies, Safe Work Australia is guided by the functions outlined in the SWA Act, the objectives of the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022 and the National Return to Work Strategy 2020-2030, and the activities in the Safe Work Australia Operational Plan 2020-2021.
In addition, Safe Work Australia considers current and emerging WHS issues, not least of which is and continues to be, the COVID-19 pandemic. The unprecedented situation created by the pandemic has challenged Safe Work Australia to embrace new ways of working in an agile and flexible manner to deliver rapid advice and guidance where it is needed most. At the outset, Safe Work Australia succeeded in quickly and effectively establishing itself as a central point of WHS guidance in response to the pandemic. The quality and impact of Safe Work Australia’s response has seen its profile, relevance and impact reach an all-time high. This has created new community expectations for the quality, quantity and relevance of our output, and the opportunity to capitalise on more innovative approaches to maintain this momentum into the future. The lessons learned during this period and Safe Work Australia’s successes in meeting this challenge, will be carried forward and applied to future work.
Over the 2020-2024 period Safe Work Australia has five key strategies that will help to achieve the stated outcome. Noting the ongoing and anticipated long term effects of the pandemic, these strategies should be read through a COVID-19 lens. As the WHS environment changes, Safe Work Australia’s strategies will respond and adapt accordingly.
- Review, evaluate and improve the model WHS laws in Australia, including implementing WHS ministers’ response to the findings of the independent review of the model WHS laws.
- Lead the development and refinement of national WHS information and guidance, and communicate this to support Australian businesses and workers in achieving safe and healthy workplaces.
- Consider the success of the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022 and apply lessons learned to the development and implementation of the next national WHS strategy.
- Support the National Return to Work Strategy 2020-2030 and the actions to improve return to work outcomes for workers with a work-related injury or illness.
- Support the collection, analysis and dissemination of national WHS and workers’ compensation data, and implement a research framework that targets the most important research, to ensure a sound evidence base for policy and decision making.
In progressing these strategies, Safe Work Australia will continue to collaborate with a broad range of stakeholders, including its international counterparts, to ensure Australia’s national work health and safety and workers’ compensation frameworks are world-leading and drive improvements in WHS and workers’ compensation arrangements.
Download the Corporate plan 2020–2024.