The Comcare scheme:
- works in partnership with employers and their employees to prevent workplace injuries
- appropriately uses regulatory sanctions for any demonstrable failure of the employer’s duty of care
- empowers employers to work with their employees to maintain an employee with a workplace injury at work, or to achieve an early, safe and durable return to work
- provides employees with a workplace injury with a statutory package of economic and non-economic benefits.
The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act) provides the legislative framework for the Comcare Scheme. The SRC Act establishes Comcare and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (SRCC) and sets out the functions and powers of these bodies.
Comcare has functions and responsibilities under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act). The main object of the WHS Act is to provide for a balanced and nationally consistent framework to secure the health and safety of workers and workplaces.
Roles and responsibilities
Comcare is the statutory authority established under the SRC Act and with the SRCC we administer the Commonwealth’s statutory framework for rehabilitation and workers’ compensation.
Comcare’s role is to support participation and productivity through healthy and safe workplaces that minimise the impact of harm in workplaces covered by Comcare.
Comcare also has functions and responsibilities under the Asbestos-related Claims (Management of Commonwealth Liabilities) Act 2005.
Comcare provides expert advice and services to the SRCC and the Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority (Seacare Authority).
Comcare is the national work health and safety regulator under the federal WHS Act.
Comcare takes a risk-based approach to regulation and our approach is consistent with other WHS regulators under the National Compliance and Enforcement Policy, which was finalised through Safe Work Australia. Comcare regulates to achieve better health and safety outcomes through accreditation, authorisation, education, audit, assurance and enforcement activities, as well as by assisting employers to develop and refine safe and healthy work systems.
More information is available in the About Comcare and About the SRCC sections of each annual report.
Figure 1: Commonwealth safety, rehabilitation and compensation scheme