Safe Work Australia Corporate Plan 2022–2026
Safe Work Australia was established under the Safe Work Australia Act 2008 (Cth) (the SWA Act) and, as a non-corporate Commonwealth entity, operates in accordance with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (Cth). However, where the requirements of the two Acts are inconsistent, the SWA Act prevails .
Our Corporate Plan covers a four-year period from 2022-2026, and, consistent with section 27(2) of the SWA Act, deals only with the outcome to be achieved and the strategies to be followed to achieve that outcome.
Notwithstanding the four-year outlook of the Corporate Plan, the intended outcome and strategies are reviewed and updated annually
Safe Work Australia’s outcome
Consistent with our 2022-2023 Portfolio Budget Statements, the outcome intended from our Corporate Plan is healthier, safer and more productive workplaces through improvements to Australian work health and safety and workers’ compensation arrangements.
Strategies to achieve our outcome
The strategies we implement to achieve our outcome are developed in consultation with Safe Work Australia Members and agreed by work health and safety (WHS) ministers.
The strategies we implement are designed to:
- achieve reductions in the incidence of work-related death, injury and illness
- 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 developing these strategies, we are guided by Safe Work Australia’s functions conferred by the SWA Act. These functions include:
- developing, evaluating and, if necessary, revising national WHS and workers’ compensation policies and strategies
- monitoring and improving the model WHS legislative framework and developing supportive WHS materials
- improving consistency in national workers’ compensation arrangements
- collecting, analysing and publishing national data
- conducting and publishing research
- developing national education and communication strategies and initiatives
- working collaboratively with the Commonwealth, states and territories, and other national and international bodies, and
- advising WHS ministers on national WHS and workers’ compensation policy matters.
In performing these functions, we also have regard to the objectives of the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012–2022 and the National Return to Work Strategy 2020–2030. In addition, we monitor and respond to new and emerging work health and safety risks as they arise and the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the ongoing WHS implications, our response to the COVID-19 pandemic will remain a key priority in the post-vaccination phase of the National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response. Safe Work Australia will continue to assist Australian workplaces to manage the ongoing health and safety risks posed by COVID-19 and other infectious diseases and support employers, small businesses, and workers to understand their rights and obligations throughout the national rollout of the COVID-19 booster vaccines. We will ensure our guidance remains evidence-based and reflects the latest public health advice.
Our strategies for 2022-2026 are:
- Review, evaluate and improve the model WHS laws in Australia, including completing the implementation of WHS ministers’ responses to the recommendations of the independent review of the model WHS laws.
- Lead the development and refinement of national WHS information and guidance, including to address the implications of COVID-19, and communicate this to support Australian businesses and workers in achieving safe and healthy workplaces.
- Build on the lessons learned over the term of the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012–2022 and apply these to the development and implementation of the next 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 research that will address identified knowledge gaps with practical and actionable outcomes.
In progressing these strategies, and in collaboration with our Members and stakeholders, we will continue to build awareness to encourage safe, healthier workplaces, ensure Australia’s national work health and safety and workers’ compensation frameworks are world-leading and drive improvements in Australian work health and safety and workers’ compensation arrangements.
The Safe Work Australia Operational Plan 2022–2023 provides further detail on the specific activities we will undertake in 2022–2023 in support of these strategies.
i Section 27(1) of the SWA Act outlines the requirement for the CEO to prepare a Corporate Plan under s 35 of the PGPA Act. However, s 27(2) of the SWA Act says that despite that section, the draft Corporate Plan must deal only with the outcomes to be achieved by Safe Work Australia and the strategies that are to be followed by Safe Work Australia to achieve those outcomes. It follows that the only requirements that may be dealt with in the corporate plan are those outlined in s 27(2), and not the broader requirements of the PGPA Act and associated rules. Our performance in delivering on the strategies identified in this plan will be measured against the performance measures and planned performance results included in the 2022-2023 Safe Work Australia Portfolio Budget Statements and reported in the Safe Work Australia Annual Report.