Current Issues - States and Territories move to Harmonise OHS and Workers Compensation
One of the greatest complaints of businesses that operate across state and territory borders is the complexity of differing requirements for workers compensation and Occupational Health and Safety.
The Federal Government have used pressure from many of the large organisations that fit into this situation to allow more companies to opt into the Commonwealth's workers compensation scheme (Comcare) as a self insurer as a means of escaping this confusion. At the same time, the Commonwealth and passed amendments to legislation to allow businesses that successfully make this change to be covered by the Commonwealth's OHS Legislation, thus completely extricating them from compliance with differing legislative controls from one state or territory to the next.
To combat this potential drain of large business from the state and territory based workers compensation schemes and occupational health and safety regimes, the state and territory governments have formed a group (without the Commonwealth's involvement) that is looking at and moving towards making some of the basic provisions of both workers compensation and occupational health and safety the same no matter what the location.
This appears to be squarely aimed at negating the attraction of the Commonwealth's 'one stop shop' approach and keep businesses with the state and territory frameworks.