Bills Digest no. 82 2008–09
Employment and Workplace Relations Amendment Bill
This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as
introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest
does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be
consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the
Contact officer & copyright details
Date introduced: 3 December 2008
House: House of Representatives
Portfolio: Employment and Workplace
Commencement: On Royal Assent except for certain
parts of Schedule 2 as set out in clause 2 of the Bill.
relevant links to the Bill, Explanatory Memorandum and second
reading speech can be accessed via BillsNet, which is at http://www.aph.gov.au/bills/.
When Bills have been passed they can be found at ComLaw, which is
The Bill increases benefits
payable in the event of a workplace death under the Australian
government workers’ compensation scheme.
The Bill extends provisions preventing people seeking certain
payments from being paid while an assurance of support is in force
to Sickness Allowance or Parenting Payment (Single).
The Bill also changes incorrect references and clarifies the
operation of certain provisions in the Social Security Act
The Bill has no financial impact. However the increased benefit
payable under the government workers compensation scheme is
anticipated to increase total Comcare premiums by about $6.1
million over 4 years.
The Bill only proposes minor and technical
amendments, examples of which are as follows.
Item 2 of Schedule 1 inserts new
section 13AA into the Safety, Rehabilitation and
Compensation Act 1988. This section provides for indexation
using a wage-price index of compensation amounts for dependents of
employees when a work-related death occurs. Currently, the
Consumer Price Index is used for this, and it will continue to be
used only in relation to indexing compensation in respect of
Items 3 to 5 increase the amounts of
compensation (death benefits) payable to dependents to match the
amounts provided under state legislation. The lump sum benefit
increases from the current amount of $225,594.33 to $400,000 in
relation to a death that occurs at or after the date of
commencement of this item. The weekly benefit for dependent
children increases from $75.10 to $110 a week.
Item 13 of Schedule 2 amends section 500B of
Social Security Act 1991 to prevent eligibility for
Parenting Payment (Single) where an assurance of support is in
Item 14 adds new section 676A.
The new section prevents eligibility for Sickness Allowance where
an assurance for support is in force.
These changes mean that where a person has entered Australia
subject to someone else undertaking to support them if needed, they
will generally be unable to access income support in the form of
Sickness Allowance or Parenting Payment (Single). All other income
support payments are already covered by existing provisions
As the Bill only proposes minor and technical amendments, no
comments are made in this Digest.
Members, Senators and Parliamentary staff can obtain further
information from the Parliamentary Library on (02) 6277 2410.
29 January 2009
Bills Digest Service
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