Tuesday 27th of SEPTEMBER 2016
Return To Work Act
The Hon. T.A. FRANKS ( 14:52 :58 ): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question to the Minister for Police, representing the Minister for Industrial Relations, on the topic of the Return to Work Act 2014.
The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: The transitional provisions of the Return to Work Act 2014 provided for workers who had an existing work injury claim under the repealed legislation to transition to the new scheme. If a worker was in receipt of income support on the date of commencement of the scheme, they were entitled to continue to receive income support. This was not taking place and, therefore, ReturnToWork SA has issued an operational directive to its claims agents to the effect that workers who had not claimed income support before the commencement of the scheme should have their entitlement determined pursuant to section 39 of the act.
That operational directive is, of course, cold comfort to those injured workers employed by self-insurers in this state, who can choose to ignore that advice. The minister has indicated that no changes to the act will be supported until the 2018 review of the act takes place, yet a cohort of workers is clearly falling through the net. It was not the intention of this parliament to see those workers in this position. My question to the minister is: even if they are included in the proposed review of the scheme in 2018, how will the review of the efficacy and fairness of these transitional provisions assist those existing workers in circumstances where, to a large degree, their rights and entitlements will have been extinguished by the passage of time?
The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety) ( 14:54 :39 ): I thank the Hon. Ms Franks for her question. Of course, I will be more than happy to pass that on to the honourable member in the other place and get a response accordingly.