I am pleased to announce the new service provider for Norfolk Island's workers" compensation arrangements is Gallagher Bassett Services Pty Limited, following an open tender process.
From 1 July 2016, the local workers" compensation scheme, has been delivered by Norfolk Island Regional Council (the Council) on behalf of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.
Due to potential conflict of interest issues as the Island's largest employer, last year the Council advised the Department they were not in a position to provide the service on behalf of the Australian Government into the future. The Government thanks the Council for its delivery of the scheme.
In December 2019, the Department approached the market to find a service delivery partner. Gallagher Bassett Services Pty Ltd—experts in claims management with extensive experience in workers" compensation—has been selected as the new provider.
The Department is now working with Gallagher Bassett Services and Norfolk Island Regional Council on arrangements to ensure the best outcomes for the community and minimise any disruptions to the management of active claims.
In light of the impacts from the current COVID-19 pandemic, the original commencement date of 1 July 2020 will need to be adjusted but is still expected to occur in the second half of 2020. The key dates for these new arrangements will soon be worked through with Council and the new provider and you will be updated as the work progresses.
Importantly, the change in provider will not affect the entitlements or benefits available to employees. All employees with an active claim will be kept informed throughout the process.
The membership fee for employers will remain unchanged and there is no plan to change the fee at this time. 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.
Some legislative change is needed to implement the new arrangements and this will occur through amendments to the Employment Act 1988 (NI) which are currently being progressed. 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 Community Engagement Framework, information will be available to the community as the work progresses.
Questions and feedback can be sent through to NIworkerscompensation@infrastructure.gov.au.
Administrator of Norfolk Island
7 May 2020