Treasurer Rob Lucas has today tabled in State Parliament a Report of the Independent Review of the Return to Work Act 2014, conducted by the Hon. John Mansfield AM QC.
A copy of the report can be viewed via:
The review was required by law within the first three years of the introduction of the Act, which established a scheme to support workers and employers following a work injury.
“We welcome the report, which addresses the major issues arising in the first years of the Act’s operation and contains 20 recommendations,’’ Treasurer Lucas said.
“The Marshall Liberal Government will consult widely with stakeholders on the recommendations before determining its position.”
The Hon Mr Mansfield overall concluded that:
“… the experience in the RTW Scheme generally compares favourably to the WRC (Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation) Scheme, notwithstanding that the RTW Scheme faces several challenges relating to the achievement of its primary object and the other objectives set out in section 3 of the RTW Act.
The statistical data and other information I reviewed indicates that the RTW Scheme is still in a transitional phase.
There is no warrant for comprehensive change at this point in time, I have not recommended an overhaul of the dispute resolution process, the determination of medical questions or any great expansion or reduction in the benefit package available to workers.”
The report also recommends that consideration be given to amendments of the Act if the decision in Mitchell is upheld by the Supreme Court. This case relates to combining side-effects from medication with an initial work injury for the purposes of calculating whole person impairment.
“We will determine our position once consultation and other matters, such as the Mitchell case, have concluded,’’ Treasurer Lucas said.