The Victorian Government chose Bendigo as the location of the Authority as part of its commitment to invest in regional Victoria. The Authority has supported this initiative and grown jobs in the region by recruiting from a talented pool of staff and using suppliers that are located in the local area wherever possible.
To date, the Authority has recruited 28 FTE staff from Bendigo and the surrounding area and developed a healthy and safe workplace with a culture that encourages engaged, resilient and solutions-focused staff.
Registration of workers and employers
Since 1 July 2019, the Authority has registered more than 100,000 Victorian workers who now have access to portable long service benefits. More than 1,800 employers have also been registered and are meeting their obligations under the legislation.
Going forward, the implementation of an External Compliance and Enforcement Policy will guide the Authority’s use of its compliance powers.
Collection and investment of levy payments
In its first year of operations, the Authority has invoiced over $25 million in employer levies, with a prudent investment strategy that will help grow and ensure the long-term sustainability of the funds in the Scheme. The Authority has engaged Victorian Funds Management Corporation to manage its investment portfolio.
The Authority has also put in place effective systems and processes to support its core operations with key policies and procedures to enable good governance, integrity and strong controls. Risk Management Policy and Procedures are in place as well as an overarching Risk Strategy guides organisational decision making. The Governing Board has defined its risk appetite, and this has been communicated to the Authority’s staff.
Communications and engagement
Registration numbers and compliance with the Scheme indicates the Authority is communicating effectively with its stakeholders to ensure that information is available for stakeholders. This has included meetings with peak bodies and industry associations along with the introduction of new channels for information such as social media and online training to support covered employers.
Systems and processes
The ongoing review and management of the systems and processes enable the Authority to work effectively and efficiently, including the establishment of offices in both Bendigo and Melbourne. This has been evident in the way the Authority has been able to respond and adapt quickly to the changing environment and challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic that saw many of our staff working from home for extended periods.