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Seafarers Safety Net Fund

The Seafarers Safety Net Fund (the Fund) is a safety net "employer" to stand in the place of an extant employer if a default event occurs, enabling injured seafarers to make a claim against the Fund when there is no employer against whom a claim can be made.  A default event is defined in the Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1992 (Seafarers Act) as happening when:

(a) the employer:

  • becomes bankrupt or insolvent; or
  • applies to take the benefit of any law for the relief of insolvents; or
  • compounds with the employer’s creditors for their benefit; or
  • if the employer is a body corporate – is wound up, or, ceases to exist; or
  • no longer engages in trade or commerce in Australia: and

(b) the employer is unable to meet the employer’s liabilities under the Seafarers Act.

In such circumstances, the Fund is substituted as the employer and will determine the claim and pay any benefits from the Fund.  Where there was a workers’ compensation insurance policy covering the employee under the Seafarers Act, the Fund has the same rights as the employer who took out the policy to recover benefits from the policy.

Levy

All employers who employ or engage seafarers on prescribed ships that are subject to the Seafarers Act are required to pay the Seafarers Safety Net Fund levy each quarter (at a rate determined by the Minister). 

Levy collection procedures

The Seacare Authority has issued Levy Collection Procedures.  These require the employer to lodge a Berths and Levy Return and pay the levy to the Seacare Authority within 14 days of the first day of each quarter.

Making a claim on the Fund

To make a claim on the Seafarers Safety Net Fund complete a Claim for Workers' Compensation, available from the Seacare Authority Ph 02-6275 0070 or email seacare@comcare.gov.au, and lodge it with the Seacare Authority, GPO Box 9905, Canberra  ACT  2601.