The six-year moratorium on employer applications for self-insurance under the Comcare scheme has been lifted by the Federal Government.
The moratorium was placed on new Comcare licensee applications on 11 December 2007 by Julia Gillard, then Workplace Relations Minister.
The moratorium was introduced by the Federal Labor Government on 11 December 2007 in response to concerns raised about the adequacy of Comcare’s inspectorate, OHS coverage for contractors, and protections available to injured workers after the broadening of the Comcare scheme under the Howard Government.
Following a 2009 review of Comcare’s ability to resource private employers under the scheme, the Labor Government chose to keep the moratorium in place until the harmonised WHS Act was introduced in all jurisdictions. Despite this not yet being achieved, the Federal Government has decided to lift the moratorium.
The lifting of the moratorium opens the scheme to eligible multi-state employers to operate under one set of workers’ comp laws (Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988).
Unlike current licensees, new licensees will not be covered by the Commonwealth WHS Act.
Applications for a licence are considered by the Safety and Rehabilitation Compensation Commission.