Darlene Perks, Chief Executive Officer
This year has been an exciting 12 months for Coal LSL and it is with great pleasure that I present the 2018–19 Coal LSL Annual Report. 2018–19 was a year of consolidation and growth, building from the foundations and dedicated work of the Coal LSL teams during 2017–18 and 2016–17.
Our responsibility is to preserve and fund long service leave entitlements in the Australian black coal mining industry (the industry). Through meticulous financial management, from July 2018 we were able to reduce the employer payroll levy rate from 2.7% to 2.0%, effectively balancing our multiple stakeholder needs by reducing employer labour oncosts while ensuring future payments for our eligible employees are protected.
As a maturing organisation, we continue to adapt and develop our internal capability to deliver to an industry that has been seeking our direction and connection. We have continued to develop the strategic allocation of assets in our investment portfolio, generating annual returns of 7.4% and exceeding the fund objectives. We now manage more than $1.8 billion in funds on behalf of our 80 registered employers and 118,950 eligible employees.
With a focus on engaging more broadly across a diverse number of stakeholders in the industry, the fund experienced continued growth in both registered employers (16%) and active eligible employees (9%) on prior year.
The continued growth has seen our team managing more than 52 million long service leave hours and engaging with a growing number of employees and employers in the industry. The increase in client transactions is being balanced against efficiency gains generated through effective digital solutions.
Building on the foundations set last year, our engagement initiatives included communicating with all known industry employers, addressing fund compliance and its mechanics, and successfully raising awareness of the fund throughout the industry. Our strategy is designed to deliver on this strong engagement commitment into the future, ensuring our purpose of ‘connecting employers and employees to their long service leave’ is clearly understood.
Advances were made in the delivery of our digital solutions during the year. The program included the successful upgrade to our website and our client registry platform. The initial implementation of a client relationship management system promises to improve and inform our client interactions. These developments, and our continued commitment of resources to enhance our digital capacity into the future, support our promise of being engaged with, and supportive of, our industry, providing solutions to enable seamless interactions.
People first philosophy
Our ongoing commitment to a ‘people first’ philosophy resulted in our move to larger Newcastle premises during the year. This investment, along with workforce initiatives such as our Ignite wellbeing program and our professional development programs, epitomise our priority to provide a supportive and rewarding work environment for all team members. We are committed to maintaining a healthy workforce culture in which our team is engaged with our strategy and delivering excellence in operational activities.
With 2018–19 being another year of significant change, our team has shown its strength, resilience and openness to adapt and grow. The Board and I are extremely proud of the commitment and recognise the ongoing efforts of all team members working together to take Coal LSL forward to better serve our industry stakeholders and each other.
Chief Executive Officer