Minister for Workplace Relations Bill Shorten, has announced a review of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act).
Mr Shorten advises that the review is to modernise the federal workers’ compensation scheme to ensure injured workers are given every opportunity to return to health, independence and work as quickly as possible.
“The SRC Act provides rehabilitation and compensation support to injured Australian Government workers. It also covers employees of a small number of private corporations who self-insure under the Commonwealth scheme, and employees of the ACT Government.”
Minister Shorten has advised that the review will be undertaken by Mr Peter Hanks QC and Dr Allan Hawke AC, supported by a Secretariat in the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, and will consider three key aspects:
- updating the legislation and the operation of the scheme, including any legislative anomalies and updates that need to be addressed
- the performance of the Comcare scheme and ways to improve its operation
- the financial and governance framework of the Comcare scheme.
Mr Hanks will review the legislative provisions of the SRC Act, while Dr Hawke will review the performance and financial framework of the Comcare scheme.
Minister Shorten advises that the review will report to the Government in February 2013, with Dr Hawke’s work completed later this year so that its outcomes can be considered by Mr Hanks in his final report.
In a media release, it is emphasised that the review will not consider any reduction in the existing benefits afforded to workers covered under the scheme, but will seek to further improve it to achieve fair and equitable outcomes for injured workers with a strong focus on rehabilitation.
The review is expected to be finalised by 1 February 2013.
More information, including the terms of reference for the review can be found at: http://ministers.deewr.gov.au/shorten/federal-workers-compensation-scheme-be-modernised