The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment (Improving the Comcare Scheme) Bill 2015

For: 

On 25 March 2015, the Minister for Employment, Senator Eric Abetz, introduced a Bill to amend the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988. This Act covers injured Australian Government workers and employees of corporations that hold a licence under the Act.

The Minister’s media release is available.

The Bill comprises the first major review of the Comcare scheme since it was established in 1988 and implements, in part or whole, the recommendations of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act reviews undertaken by Mr Peter Hanks QC and Dr Allan Hawke AC in 2012. Other changes have been the result of ongoing consultation and analysis of the scheme’s efficiency, viability and cost effectiveness.

In summary, the changes proposed in the Bill aim to:

  • improve return-to-work outcomes for injured workers;
  • put the focus on early intervention and better health outcomes for injured workers; and
  • improve the operation of the system by excluding injuries sustained in non-work activities outside work, excluding secondary psychological injuries from some payments and removing payment for non evidence-based treatments.

A summary of the changes can be found in the Fact Sheet.

Where can I find a copy of the Bill and explanatory information?

The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment (Improving the Comcare Scheme) Bill  is available on the Australian Parliamentary website. 

A detailed explanation of the changes can be found in the Explanatory Memorandum.

A plain English description of the changes can be found in the Second Reading Speech.

When will the changes take effect?

These changes will not come into effect until the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment (Improving the Comcare Scheme) Bill commences as an Act. 

As a Bill passes through Parliament, it is decided on its merits and not within specified timeframes.  This means that specific dates for the introduction of the changes proposed in the Bill cannot be known.

However, when the Bill does becomes legislation, the changes will take effect immediately or within 6 to 12 months.

How can I track the progress of the Bill through Parliament?

To view the progress of the Bill through Parliament, visit the Australian Parliamentary website.

Where can I find a copy of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act?

The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988, in its current form, can be found on the Australian Government ComLaw website.

How will these changes affect me?

The Department cannot provide personal advice.  This list of Frequently Asked Questions may assist your understanding of the proposed changes.

What if I have further questions?

Email: workerscompensationpolicy@employment.gov.au
Workers’ Compensation Hotline: 13 17 15 (option 5)

Please note that the information provided by phone or email is of a general nature only. The Department cannot provide legal advice or speculative, personal or case-specific information.   

Where can I find further information once the Bill is passed?

Once the Bill has achieved successful passage through Parliament, further information will be available on Comcare’s website.

Resources

The following is a list of all the resources that are associated with The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment (Improving the Comcare Scheme) Bill 2015.

Results

  1. COAG Select Council- Terms of Reference

    Created: 21 October 2011  |  Last modified: 21 December 2011

  2. Comcare Review- Background information paper (January 2008)

    Created: 17 August 2009  |  Last modified: 28 August 2009

  3. Comcare Review- Report

    Created: 23 September 2009  |  Last modified: 25 September 2009

  4. Comcare Review- Taylor Fry Consulting Actuaries

    Created: 23 September 2009  |  Last modified: 25 September 2009

  5. Commonwealth Authorities (current and former) for the purposes of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988

    Created: 2 December 2013

  6. Communique from the COAG Select Council on Workplace Relations 4

    Created: 1 November 2013

    A Communiqué from the fourth Council of Australian Governments’ Select Council on Workplace Relations – 1 November 2013

  7. Communiqué from the COAG Select Council on Workplace Relations 1

    Created: 18 November 2012  |  Last modified: 18 November 2012

  8. Communiqué from the COAG Select Council on Workplace Relations 2

    Created: 18 November 2012  |  Last modified: 18 November 2012

  9. Communiqué from the COAG Select Council on Workplace Relations 3

    Created: 4 April 2013

  10. Consultation Paper

    Created: 23 June 2010  |  Last modified: 23 June 2010

  11. Department of Employment – Australian Enterprise Agreements Data Request

    Created: 21 June 2010  |  Last modified: 15 June 2015

    Australian Enterprise Agreements Data Request Form

  12. Fair Work Amendment (Respect for Emergency Services Volunteers) Bill 2016

    Created: 22 August 2016

    The Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, and the Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, have today publicly released the Fair Work Amendment (Respect...

  13. Final Communique from the Select Council on Workplace Relations- 11 April 2014

    Created: 11 April 2014

    The document outlines a range of national workplace relations and work health and safety issues discussed by Senator the Hon. Eric Abetz as the Chair and Members of the Select...

  14. Historical table

    Created: 31 January 2013  |  Last modified: 13 December 2016

    Historical report containing data about the number of enterprise agreements approved in each quarter in the federal workplace relations system, as well as data about the number...

  15. Historical table- current

    Created: 31 January 2013  |  Last modified: 13 December 2016

    Historical report containing data about the number of enterprise agreements current in each quater in the federal workplace relations system, as well as data about the number of...

  16. Licence Application Process for Self-Insurance by Private Corporations

    Created: 2 December 2013

  17. Private corporations wishing to apply to self-insure their Workers’ Compensation Liabilities under the Comcare Scheme

    Created: 2 December 2013  |  Last modified: 23 February 2016

    Under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Section 100), the Minister for Employment may declare a corporation eligible to apply for a workers’ compensation...

  18. Proposed workers' compensation changes in 2015

    Created: 25 March 2015

    Fact Sheet on SRC Act Changes.

  19. Review of the Seacare Scheme Report

    Created: 20 May 2013

  20. Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Review Report

    Created: 28 March 2013  |  Last modified: 17 June 2013

    On 24 July 2012, a comprehensive review of the Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (the SRC Act) was announced.

  21. Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment (Fair protection for firefighters) Act 2011 Report December 2013

    Created: 3 February 2014

  22. Scheme Review Discussion Paper

    Created: 24 February 2014  |  Last modified: 25 February 2014

    Discussion Paper and submission guide relating to the Review to Modernise The Office of The Federal Safety Commissioner and The Australian Government Building and Construction...

  23. SEACARE Scheme Review Discussion Paper

    Created: 26 November 2012

  24. SRC Act Review- Dr Hawke's report

    Created: 29 April 2013

  25. Submission of the Department of Employment to the Productivity Commission inquiry into the workplace relations framework

    Created: 27 March 2015

    Submission by the department to the Productivity Commission inquiry into the workplace relations framework

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