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.

News

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

Unpaid Work Experience in Australia Report, December 2016

News | 22 December 2016

Final report by Royal Commission into Trade Unions

News | 30 December 2015

On 30 December 2015 Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, tabled the final report by the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption.

Productivity Commission’s final report on the workplace relations framework

News | 23 December 2015

On 21 December 2015, Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, released the Producity Commission’s final report on the workplace relation framework.

Supporting Working Parents website and online resources

News | 30 July 2015

On 30 July 2015, the Supporting Working Parents website and online resources were launched at the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Trends in Federal Enterprise Bargaining for the March quarter 2015 is now available

News | 30 July 2015

Trends in Federal Enterprise Bargaining is a quarterly report that provides data, and an accompanying explanatory summary, on quarterly growth in wages and agreement making in the federal workplace relations system.

Trends in Federal Enterprise Bargaining for the December quarter 2014 is now available

News | 13 May 2015

Trends in Federal Enterprise Bargaining is a quarterly report that provides data, and an accompanying explanatory summary, on quarterly growth in wages and agreement making in the federal workplace relations system.

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

News | 24 March 2015

On 25 March 2015 the Minister for Employment, Senator Eric Abetz, introduced a Bill to amend the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.

Centre for Workplace Leadership - Workplace Gender and Equality Strategy project

News | 18 March 2015

On 4 March 2015, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, announced that the Centre for Workplace Leadership at the University of Melbourne will be undertaking a Workplace Gender and Equality Strategy project to assist around 10 organisations to meet their...

Trends in Federal Enterprise Bargaining for the September quarter 2014 is now available.

News | 20 January 2015

Trends in Federal Enterprise Bargaining is a quarterly report that provides data, and an accompanying explanatory summary, on quarterly growth in wages and agreement making in the federal workplace relations system.

Fair Work Commission Annual Wage Review increases national minimum wage

News | 5 June 2014

The Fair Work Commission Annual Wage Review 2013-14 has lifted the national minimum wage and minimum wages in modern awards.

Review of Transfer of Business Amendment

News | 2 June 2014

The department is undertaking a post-implementation review of the Fair Work Amendment (Transfer of Business) Act 2012.

Winners announced at the 9th annual Safe Work Australia Awards

News | 1 May 2014

The 9th annual Safe Work Australia Awards were held at Old Parliament House in Canberra on the 28 April 2014. The awards recognised individuals and organisations for outstanding contributions to work health and safety.

Release of the Office of the Federal Safety Commission review discussion paper

News | 24 February 2014

Discussion paper for the review of the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner is now available.

Self-insurance under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988

News | 2 December 2013

Submissions open for Superannuation Discussion Paper

News | 27 November 2013

The Government has released a discussion paper, Better regulation and governance, enhanced transparency and improved competition in superannuation, seeking feedback on a range of policy proposals for superannuation.