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Minister Announces Return to Work Act Review

On the expiry of 3 years from the commencement of the Return to Work Act, the Act requires a review of its administration and operation. As the Return to Work Act commenced on 4 December 2014, 4 December 2017 is the date which the review has commenced.

Summary of the Minister’s statement to the House of Assembly:

The review will be conducted by the Honourable John Mansfield AM assisted by a Project Team.

The Return to Work Act requires that the review must include an assessment of:

  • The extent to which the scheme, the dispute resolution processes, and the South Australian Employment Tribunal Act 2014 have achieved a reduction in the number of disputed matters and a decrease in the time taken to resolve disputes
  • Whether the jurisdiction of the South Australian Employment Tribunal under this Act should be transferred to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal
  •  The extent to which there has been an improvement in the determination or resolution of medical questions arising under the Return to Work Act
  • Any other matter that is considered to be relevant to a review of the Return to Work Act

The following matters are to be included in the review:

  • The performance of ReturnToWorkSA in managing claims, including ReturnToWorkSA’s outcomes in reducing instances of work injury
  • The performance of self-insured employers, including outcomes in reducing instances of work injury
  • Changes in return to work rates at key milestones outlining factors influencing any improvement or deterioration
  • Factors contributing to non-seriously injured workers failing to achieve a return to work within two years
  • Any additional recommendations regarding re-skilling services to assist return to work outcomes
  • Whether the scheme has yet achieved financial stability and, if not, when the scheme is likely to be mature and stable
  • Any other recommendations consistent with the objects of the Return to Work Act

The review is required to be completed within 6 months. The results of the review will be a written report. This will be laid before both Houses of Parliament within 12 sitting days after its receipt.

The review will be authorised to commission relevant actuarial support and any necessary social or economic impact assessments required to properly inform its deliberations and those of the Government.

The review may invite written submissions from the public and other interested parties at its discretion.

The review will produce a final report with any recommendations ultimately for Government consideration.

Source: Self Insurers of SA