The Australian Government is working to transition the delivery of workers compensation arrangements for Norfolk Island to a new service provider.
From 1 July 2016, the local workers compensation scheme, as a state-type service, has been delivered by Norfolk Island Regional Council on behalf of the Australian Government.
Due to potential conflict of interest issues as the Island’s largest employer, the Council has advised the Department they are not in a position to provide this state-type service on behalf of the Australian Government into the future. The Government thanks the Council for its delivery of the scheme since 2016.
The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development is now working to transition the workers compensation arrangements to a new service provider by July 2020 and will be approaching the market to find a service delivery partner.
Importantly, the transition will not affect the entitlements or benefits available to employees. The Department and Council will work together closely to minimise any disruptions to the management of active claims. All employees with an active claim will be notified well in advance of any changes affecting them.
The current levy rate for employers will remain unchanged at this stage and is outside the scope of the transition.
Some legislative change will be needed to implement the new arrangements and this is expected to occur through amendments the Employment Act 1988 (NI). As these changes will be focused on the administration or ‘back office’ aspect of the Scheme, they will have minimal effect on the community. Consistent with the Legislation Consultation Framework, information will be made available to the community as the work progresses.
The Department will also engage directly with Norfolk Island employers to assist them to understand any new processes (for example, forms) under the new arrangements.
Questions and feedback can be sent through to NIworkerscompensation@infrastructure.gov.au.