Comcare is the scheme which provides workers' compensation and work health and safety arrangements for Australian Government employees and for the employees of certain private corporations under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 and the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.
Self-insurance under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 allows employers to manage their own workers' compensation responsibilities. Self-insurers under the Comcare scheme are subject to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.
On 11 December 2007 a moratorium commenced on corporations joining the Comcare scheme, and a review of self-insurance arrangements.
The Terms of Reference for the review were released on 23 January 2008 and they were included in the information provided by the department in the Background Information Paper.
Submissions to the review closed on 29 February 2008. Copies of the submissions (with the exception of those requesting confidentiality) can be obtained by contacting the Workers' Compensation Policy Team on 1300 488 064.
The Comcare Review Report was released on 25 September 2009. A report by Taylor Fry, commissioned by the department to inform the Review, is an appendix to the department's report.
Improvements to the Comcare Scheme
Following the review, a number of improvements to the scheme were announced. The improvements include a statutory time limit for claims, reinstating workers' compensation coverage for off-site recess breaks, and continuing to pay medical and related costs where weekly compensation benefits are suspended.