In brief – Seacare report recommends reforms to maritime industry compensation scheme
The reforms proposed by the Seacare report aim to align the maritime compensation scheme with best practice, but their rapid implementation is unlikely due to the impending federal election and a probable lack of bipartisan support.
Seacare report released in May 2013
On 20 May the Honourable Bill Shorten, the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Financial Services and Superannuation in the Gillard government released a report of some complexity on a review of the Seacare scheme, Review of the Seacare Scheme Report.
Recommendations for reform aim to make maritime compensation fairer
The Seacare scheme provides rehabilitation and compensation support to injured seafarers, but has not been comprehensively reviewed since being established in 1992.
The report contains some 67 recommendations for reform of the scheme, aimed at providing a fairer workers’ compensation arrangement that represents best practice and is comparable to other work, health and safety and workers’ compensation schemes for people in the maritime industry.
Reforms unlikely to have bipartisan support despite deficiencies in current system
Because of the impending federal election in September 2013, it is unlikely that the proposed reforms will be quickly implemented and it is doubtful whether the reforms will have bipartisan support.
Nevertheless, the review provides a very detailed analysis of the deficiencies in the current system and will no doubt be read with interest by all those involved in the industry. It provides a pathway for possible reform and amendment by the next government should it wish to proceed down that course.
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