Can the ACT create a better value workers’ compo scheme?

The only risk that needs to be managed is ... having WorkSafe be the regulator as well as a participant in the scheme.

The ACT government is leaning towards creating new workers’ compensation regulations just for its public servants outside of Comcare. But the legal community doesn’t think it’s even worth the effort.

Discussions around the new workers’ compensation arrangements for ACT public servants have until at least mid-April left to run. But Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations Minister Mick Gentleman already has some ideas about the way forward.

After ditching the Commonwealth Comcare scheme due to its high cost, the proposed design for an independent ACT fund would put WorkSafe ACT in charge of the regulation of both work safety and workers’ compensation.

“Bringing them together would allow the Work Safe inspectorate to provide better co-ordinated and holistic education, awareness and compliance services and create efficiencies, for example prevention and injury management services could be provided simultaneously by the same inspector,” Gentleman told The Mandarin. “They would also develop and apply a more practical and detailed knowledge of the ACT public sector than is currently the case.”

He added that bringing the public sector into the existing WorkSafe scheme would be a good value option: “For example information technology services, scheme oversight, regulatory support and disputation services will operate across the ACT private and public sectors, allowing for greater economies of scale, the sharing of expertise and improved service delivery.”

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