Icare’s chief salary will exceed $1 million as the insurer raises salaries

icare’s chief executive will receive a quarter-million dollar salary increase as part of $3.5 million in pay increases to be distributed to executives after the scandal-ridden state insurer replaced controversial bonuses for executives with a fixed raise for top staff.

Icare’s new pay scheme guarantees 116 executives a pay rise worth 60 percent of their maximum bonus, bringing the salary of CEO Richard Harding – one of the highest paid civil servants in NSW – above $1 million, icare has confirmed.

Icare CEO Richard Harding, one of the highest paid civil servants in NSW, is getting a $247,000 pay rise to take his salary above $1 million.

Seven of the eight group managers will receive a pay raise of more than $100,000 despite another challenging year for the insurer, which had to be bailed out by the NSW government at a cost of $1.9 billion in the latest state budget.

NSW Labor has criticized the steep pay rises, saying there was no reason to reward executives when the insurer had lost billions, but an icare spokesperson said it would cut the insurer’s overall compensation budget and needed to recruit talent Pull.

Icare has been the subject of intense scrutiny since an investigation by the Herald and ABC TVs Four corners in 2020 revealed the underpayment of claims to injured employees as senior executives claimed nearly $4 million in salaries and bonuses. Harding was one of several executives who joined icare in 2021.

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The insurer, which provides workers’ compensation to 3.6 million public and private sector workers in NSW, has since been forced to pay $38 million to 53,000 injured workers. A subsequent parliamentary inquiry also revealed a laundry list of problems, with some staff allegedly stealing tables, televisions, crockery and iPads from the office.

A separate review by former Judge Robert McDougall, QC, found that icare’s workers’ compensation scheme suffered from poor governance, shoddy implementation and difficulties in providing injured workers with access to their rightful benefits.

Chairman John Robertson announced earlier this month that the insurer would “remove performance incentives” as part of its strategy reset following the McDougall review. Instead, Robertson said it would “adjust” the fixed pay of affected employees.

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