Update on Changes to Seacare Scheme

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Comcare and Seacare Legislation Amendment (Pension Age and Catastrophic Injury) Act 2017

On 15 June 2017 the Australian Parliament made the following minor, though important, changes to the Seacare compensation scheme for Australian seafarers:

  • payments of incapacity payments will continue until an employee's pension age (which increases from July 2017 to 65½ years, and then increases by 6 months every 2 years until it reaches 67 in 2023), rather then the current age of 65;
  • compensation for household services and attendant care obtained as a consequence of a 'catastrophic injury' will not be limited to a maximum weekly allowance and instead will be for 'such amount per week as is reasonable in the circumstances'

Other changes to the Seacare scheme proposed by the Australian Government in the Seafarers and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 remain pending before the Australian Parliament. 

Some of the pending proposed changes to the Seacare scheme include changing the degree of employment contribution for a disease from a 'material' to a 'significant' degree, altering psychological injury coverage to exclude injuries suffered as a result of 'reasonable administrative action taken in a reasonable manner', changing the test for the coverage of the Seacare scheme, and abolishing the Seacare Authority and integrating its functions into Comcare.  Further details on these proposed changes can be found in our previous client update on the Australian Government's Proposed Changes to the Seacare Scheme.

It is not yet known when these proposed changes to the Seacare scheme will be passed. We will keep you updated on further developments as they unfold.

For further information on these changes and how they may impact your operations, please contact a member of our team.

This article was written by Anthony Highfield, Partner, HWL Ebsworth Lawyers.

For futher information please contact:

Partner | Sydney
P +61 2 9334 8765
Matthew Brooks
Partner | Sydney
+61 2 9334 8740
Anthony Highfield
Partner | Sydney
+61 2 9334 8764
Philip Hunter
Partner | Brisbane
+61 7 3169 4795
Simon Liddy
Partner | Sydney
P +61 2 9334 8856
Jesper Martens
Special Counsel | Sydney
P +61 2 9334 8838
Chris Sacré
Special Counsel | Sydney
P +61 2 9334 8564

For information on our Shipping and Trade team click here.

Important disclaimer: The material contained in this publication is of a general nature only and is based on the law as at 28 June 2017. It is not, nor is intended to be, legal advice. If you wish to take any action based on the content of this publication we recommend that you seek professional advice.