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.

This is commentary published by Colin Biggers & Paisley for general information purposes only. This should not be relied on as specific advice. You should seek your own legal and other advice for any question, or for any specific situation or proposal, before making any final decision. The content also is subject to change. A person listed may not be admitted as a lawyer in all States and Territories. © Colin Biggers & Paisley, Australia 2019.

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