WRCAC Communique May 2021

Functions of the Council

In accordance with section 9 of the Return to Work Act 1986, the functions of the Council are to:

(a) keep the operation of the Return to Work Act 1986 under review;

(b) make recommendations to the Minister on possible improvements to the administration of the Return to Work Act 1986, or the statutory scheme for the rehabilitation and compensation of injured workers in the Northern Territory;

(c) carry out investigations, at the request of the Minister, into questions about the rehabilitation and compensation of injured workers and to report to the Minister on the results of the investigations; and

(d) perform any other advisory functions relating to workers’ rehabilitation and compensation as the Minister directs.

The Council comprises the person constituting the Work Health Authority under section 4(3) of the Work Health Administration Act 2011 and up to 10 other members appointed by the Minister.

Council members must represent stakeholders of the Northern Territory Workers’ Compensation Scheme, including balanced representation from a wide range of industry sectors, employer and worker interests, and insurers. Membership of the Council must also include persons with expertise in the rehabilitation of injured workers.

The Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Advisory Council (the Council) met on  27 May 2021.

This was the first time that the newly appointed Council met.

The following items were discussed.

Northern Territory Health response to letter dated 5 March 2021 from Ms Cathy Spurr

A copy of the correspondence to the Chair from the Chief Finance officer for the Department of Health was provided to the council for review. The council noted the letter.

ICA Letter on Working Group proposal

A copy of the letter from ICA was provided to the new and previous council members for historical information.  The letter was noted.  Further action from the previous council will be progressed with a letter to the Minister.

Lyons review action – Injured Workers and Family Forum Subcommittee

The Chair provided an update to the council. The council noted the updates. The findings and recommendations made by the committee have been sent to the Minister for consideration.

Other Business

The council discussed psychosocial factors around workers compensation and the difficulties these can introduce.  The council was advised of national projects that will allow for further informative data. For example, the Return to Work Survey 2021 and work being done with RACGP in relation to the training of GP’s giving regard to workers compensation.

Next meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for 12 August 2021.