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On 11 April 2019 the Australian Government assumed a caretaker role, with an election to be held 18 May 2019.
Information on websites maintained by Comcare will be published in accordance with the Guidance on Caretaker Conventions until after the election and conclusion of the caretaker period.
Employers / operators in the Australian maritime industry covered by the Seacare scheme are required to provide certain information to the Seacare Authority in accordance with sections 105 and 106 of the Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1992 (Seafarers Act). In addition, employers / operators have a range of statutory reporting requirements. The following guidance will assist employers / operators understand and comply with their obligations under the Seacare scheme.
Penalties apply for non compliance. Reference should be made to the relevant Acts and Regulations cited below, which are accessible from the Seacare website under Legislation.
Reporting to the Seacare Authority
Employee and Ship Details (ESD) Survey Reports
Employers are required to report to the Seacare Authority on employee numbers, hours worked and details of ships operating under under the scheme's legislation (six monthly) and on employees by age range and employees by occupational grouping (annually). ESD reporting becomes due from the beginning of January (for the July to December period) and the beginning of July (for the January to June period). The Seacare Management Section (SMS) will issue a notice to employers prior to the reports falling due.
ESD reports must be provided within 14 days of the reports falling due and must be submitted either by emailing the appropriate form to the SMS or via the Seacare Authority's Online Reporting System - Seacare Online. Access to Seacare Online can be requested using the user access request form:
Workers' Compensation Insurance Arrangements
Employers are required to provide the Seacare Authority with details of their workers' compensation insurance arrangements. These details must be provided within 14 days of the employer being issued with or renewing insurance or indemnity by, or with, an authorised insurer; or, becoming a member of, or renewing membership of, a protection and indemnity association or an employers' mutual indemnity association. Insurance details must be submitted via the Seacare Authority's Online Reporting System - Seacare Online. Access can be requested using the user access request form (see above paragraph).
The authority requiring details on insurance arrangements is provided by sections 93, 94 and 95 of the Seafarers Act.
Workers' Compensation Claims
Employers are required to provide the Seacare Authority with copies of all lodged Claim for Workers' Compensation, Claim for Permanent Impairment and Non-Economic Loss and/or Related Aids or Claim for Compensation by Dependants of Deceased Employees. These claim forms contain copies that must be forwarded to the Seacare Authority, GPO Box 9905, Canberra ACT 2601.
For each claim, employers are required to provide the Seacare Authority with a copy of an Employer Determination regardless of whether the claim form is lodged with their insurer. The Employer Determination form contains a copy that must be forwarded to the Seacare Authority, GPO Box 9905, Canberra ACT 2601.
Claim update reports
Employers are required to provide the Seacare Authority with a Claim Update Report for any claim that is active or has been finalised in the preceding six month period, including through rejection or withdrawal. Claim Update forms are due within 30 days from the end of June and the end of December of each year. The SMS will issue Claim Update forms to relevant employers prior to the update falling due.
The authority requiring that any claim made be reported to the Seacare Authority, using forms approved by the Seacare Authority, is provided by section 63 of the Seafarers Act.
Seafarers Safety Net Fund 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 (the Fund) levy each quarter (at a rate determined by the Minister). This levy must be paid to the Seacare Authority within 14 days of the first day of each quarter. The SMS will issue a notice to employers prior to the levy falling due each quarter.
Berths and Levy Return
Employers must lodge a Berths and Levy Return with the Seacare Authority within fourteen (14) days of the first day of the quarter. Further details on the Fund and Levy collection procedures is provided from the Seacare website under Compensation.
The Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Levy Act 1992 (Levy Act), Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Levy Collection Act 1992 (Levy Collection Act), Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Levy Regulations 2018 and Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Levy Collection Regulations 2018 establish the obligations on employers to pay the Seafarers Safety Net Fund levy and prescribes procedures for payment of the levy and for provision of a Return.
Seacare Authority Notice and Compliance Procedures
The Seacare Authority compliance procedures establish the procedures followed by the Seacare Management Section (SMS) in ensuring employer compliance with statutory obligations where no statutory procedures are specified.
Incidents - accidents or dangerous occurences
Operators covered by the Occupational Health and Safety (Maritime Industry) Act 1993 (OHS(MI) Act) are required to notify the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) - the Seacare OHS Inspectorate - of an incident within four (4) hours of becoming aware of the incident, using AMSA's Incident Alert form 18, AND report the incident to AMSA within seventy two (72) hours of becoming aware of the incident, using AMSA's Incident Report form 19.
An incident means:
(i) an accident that occurred at or near a workplace at which an undertaking is being conducted by the operator:
(a) that causes the death of, or serious personal injury to, any person; or
(b) that causes an employee who performs work in connection with the undertaking to be incapacitated from performing work for a period of five (5) or more successive days; or
(ii) a dangerous occurrence, defined as an occurrence that occurred at a workplace, and:
(a) resulted from operations that arose from an undertaking conducted by or for the operator of the workplace; and
(b) could have caused:
(i) the death of, or serious personal injury to, any person; or
(ii) the incapacity of an employee for a duration of 5 or more successive working days;
but as a result of which death, serious personal injury or incapacity did not occur.
The authority requiring notifcation of and reporting on accidents and dangerous occurences is provided by section 106 of the OHS(MI) Act and regulations 11 to 13 of the OHS(MI) Regs.