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Annual Report 2014 - 2015

Staff health and wellbeing

OBJECTIVE: Supporting our people

Taking steps to improve staff health and wellbeing

A new Workplace Behaviour and Ethics Working Group prepared a plan to improve staff awareness of ethical behaviour and promote a positive organisational culture. The plan draws upon staff responses to the People Matter 2014 Survey and includes relevant strategies from the Public Service Commission’s Behaving Ethically guidelines. The plan contributes to supporting health and wellbeing, endorsing a ‘speak-up culture’, promoting dignity and respect, and developing options to improve staff wellbeing.

We implemented a wellcheck/debriefing program aimed at all administrative and legal staff, particularly those who deal with difficult and confronting issues.

There were 31 hours of wellcheck/debriefing sessions throughout the year.

Ninety five staff and family accessed our Employee Assistance Program, an increase in usage from 7.7 per cent in 2013-2014 to 9.8 per cent in 2014- 2015. Almost 20 per cent were referred by Legal Aid NSW managers. There was also an increase in managers accessing the Manager Hotline. These are positive signs that staff and managers are using this important resource for work and personal reasons.

Workers compensation claims were low compared with the previous five years

Fourteen workers compensation claims were lodged in 2014-2015. Ten of these were accepted, one was withdrawn, two were declined and one remained under investigation as at 30 June 2015.

The cost incurred to 30 June 2015 of new claims reported was $88,860 compared to $53,593 last year, an increase of $35,267 or 65.8 per cent.

The number of accepted claims (includes claims accepted under provisional liability) increased from nine in 2013-2014 to 10 in this reporting period.

Of the accepted claims in this reporting period, there were four fall/slip and three body stress (e.g. Repetitive Strain Injury) claims amounting to $52,966 or 59.6 per cent of the total cost of claims.

Five claims for psychological injury (e.g. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety Disorders and Depression) were lodged, up from two last year. Of these five, one was accepted, one withdrawn, two declined and one remained under investigation as at 30 June 2015. Costs incurred by these psychological claims amounted to $32,857 or 37 per cent of the total cost of claims for the year.

The number of full time equivalent (FTE) (on average) staff for this financial year is 945.85, an increase of 41.94 FTE from 903.91 in 2013-2014. This equates to an average claim cost of $93.95 per staff member compared to $59.29 in 2013-2014, $153.41 in 2012- 2013 and $404.54 in 2011-2012.

The total number of reported ‘Incident Only’ notifications of injury decreased to 15 from 17 in the previous reporting period. Although journey claims are no longer compensable, we continue to collect these statistics.

Chart showing 5 year trend in Workers Compensation claims Chart showing 5 year trend in Work incidents

Note: The significant decrease in workers compensation claims since 2010 may be attributed to a number of factors. These include: changes to workers compensation legislation in June 2012, our organisation’s focus on health and wellbeing initiatives (including Wellchecks), and supporting managers to develop their people management skills.

Record of workers compensation claims
Type of claim No. of claims 2013–2014 No. of claims 2014–2015
Workplace 6 9
On duty (eg court) 1 3
Journey - 1
Recesses (authorised breaks) 4 1
Total claims lodged 11 14
Total claims accepted 9 10
Claims under investigation 1 1
Claims declined 1 2
Claims withdrawn 1 1
Record of work related incidents
Type of injury/incident No. of reports 2013–2014 No. of reports 2014–2015
Workplace 9 3
On duty (eg court) 1 7
Journey 2 2
Recesses 5 3
Total injuries/incidents 17 15