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Comcare Regulation Policy

NOTE: This policy is available as website pages. To navigate the policy use the links below or the navigation in the left hand column. The individual schedules are available for download. This version of the Comcare Regulation Policy was published on 27 August 2013. The previous Comcare Regulation Policy (28 March 2011–27 August 2013) is available for reference through the publications section of our website.

Summary

Our 2015 Plan has redefined Comcare as a more integrated, preventative and proactive regulator—understanding workplaces in the scheme and ensuring appropriate systems are in place.

Purpose

Comcare’s purpose is to prevent workplace harm and care for those affected by it.

Comcare contributes to a secure, safer, fairer, more productive and socially inclusive Australia. Comcare partners with workers, their employers and unions to keep workers healthy and safe, reduce the incidence and cost of workplace injury and disease, and improve compliance with federal law.

As a matter of federal law, better practice and transparency, this policy describes Comcare’s regulatory approach to enhancing the health, safety and welfare of workers through education, assurance and enforcement.

The policy also covers Comcare’s policy on the prevention, detection and correction of fraud.

Everyone’s needs are different in their dealings with Comcare. This policy is written in a way that allows you to focus on the areas that interest you.

Supporting schedules explain the components of our regulatory approach and the tools we apply to achieve compliance with the federal laws we administer.

Aim

Comcare expects compliance with federal laws and encourages best practice. This policy aims to make it easier for duty holders to comply with the legislation and to take appropriate action against those who do not.

The scheme

The Comcare scheme (the scheme) provides federal workers and their employers with an integrated safety, rehabilitation and compensation system, no matter what Australian state or territory an employer operates in or where its workers are located—be that domestically or internationally.

Both Comcare and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission oversee the scheme.

Comcare and the Commission have a number of powers and functions conferred under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act) to ensure an early and safe return to work and access to compensation for injured workers. The Commission is a statutory body with regulatory functions in relation to Comcare and other authorities which determine workers’ compensation claims under the Comcare scheme. Comcare has its own regulatory functions as well as claims management functions. The Commission does not employ its own staff. Comcare provides the Commission with the secretariat support, assistance and resources reasonably required for performing its functions.

Previously, Comcare and the Commission co-regulated federal work health and safety, and workers’ compensation arrangements. From 1 January 2012 the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991 (OHS Act) was replaced by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011(Cth) (WHS Act). As a result of this legislative change, Comcare is now the sole regulator of work health and safety in the scheme. The Commission continues to have integral oversight, advisory and consultative roles.

Comcare’s commitment to you

At Comcare we commit to:

  • listening—so you only have to tell your story once
  • providing you with a personal service
  • promptly answering your call, email or letter
  • giving you an answer—or telling you when we can
  • using plain English—or your own language where we can
  • keeping you informed on matters that affect you
  • being open and honest with you
  • being fair and reasonable in making decisions that affect you
  • clearly explaining our decisions and your rights of review
  • respecting and protecting your personal information
  • welcoming your feedback and ideas to help us improve
  • acknowledging any mistakes we make and taking steps to fix them
  • engaging with HSRs and promoting their role in health and safety.

You can help us

Comcare wants to do the right thing to help you. To do this we need you to:

  • be honest and tell us how it is
  • provide us with information to help us make the right decisions
  • tell us when your circumstances change
  • tell us if your contact information changes
  • treat our people with respect.

Get in touch

Comcare wants you to keep in touch. To do this you can:

  • call us on 1300 366 979 between 8.00 am and 5.00 pm weekdays (AEST)
  • email us at enquiries@comcare.gov.au
  • write to us at GPO Box 9905, Canberra ACT 2601
  • visit us at any of our offices around Australia
  • let us know if you want us to visit you.

Staying on track

Comcare is committed to delivering quality services. We will regularly report on our performance on Comcare’s website.

Other associated policy and guidance material

Other documents that may be helpful to you to understand Comcare’s work include:

  • Comcare’s strategic plan 2010–2015
  • Better practice guidance to decision-making
  • Guidelines for Rehabilitation Authorities 2012
  • National Compliance and Enforcement Policy
  • Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines

 Schedule 1 >>


Page last updated: 29 Oct 2014