Looking back on 2019–20, there is no doubt it was a year that fell into two distinct parts. But even in the face of the pandemic that threw unexpected challenges our way, it was a year of success and achievement for Coal LSL and I’d like to thank our team, clients and stakeholders for the continued support and passion that made this possible.
From March 2020, when COVID-19 began to impact businesses across the nation, Coal LSL rose to the occasion and mobilised in a matter of weeks to implement a whole-of-business work-from-home model of operations. With clarity on our strategic plan, and the requisite technological capacity, the team continues to successfully deliver during these complex times.
Regardless of the challenges the year presented, Coal LSL remained focused on compliance activities to ensure eligible employees have access to their rightful entitlements. This resulted in continued growth, with a record 218 new employers registered during the period, bringing the Fund to a milestone 1,000 employers in September 2020.
Just as significantly, Coal LSL Fund’s investment performance achieved a positive return over the year. Despite the significant impact the pandemic had on global financial markets, our investment strategy, which is designed to deliver long-term returns, positioned the Fund to outperform its three-, five- and eight-year objectives.
Advances in our technological capacity saw the introduction of a client-relationship management system and a straight-through processing functionality that streamline the process of connecting employers and employees with their long service leave. A vital part of our digital transformation, these advances strengthen our technological capacity, progressing us towards service excellence as employer and employee numbers continue to grow.
While our team is committed to servicing the industry, we are equally committed to maintaining a healthy workforce culture with a people-first philosophy. As a result, the All Staff Culture Survey conducted in October 2019 reflected a high level of engagement and satisfaction, with the responses informing future programs to build workforce capabilities.
Another significant milestone was reached during the year, with October 2019 marking the 70th anniversary of the provision of portable long service leave entitlements to eligible employees of the Australian black coal mining industry. The underlying scheme was the first – and remains the only – national portable long service leave scheme in Australia.
As the year progressed, we promoted our value to the industry by sharing our ‘why we do it’ philosophy with our clients and stakeholders. It was a shift from our ‘what we do’ approach that enhanced and enriched the perception of our role – externally, through government and industry stakeholder engagement; and internally, through a vision statement and guiding principles that express our commitment to service leadership and continuous improvement.
The Coal LSL team does not waiver in its dedication and resilience. The year posed many challenges, but the skills we acquired along the way are invaluable. Our team is committed to ensuring we capitalise on the learnings of 2020 to further strengthen our position into 2021 and beyond.