Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Act 2022
On 6 December 2022, the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Act 2022 received Royal Assent and included amendments to the Safety, Rehabilitation, and Compensation Act 1988 (the SRC Act) to streamline access to workers’ compensation for firefighters covered by the SRC Act.
- Date opened
- Date closed
The amendments reduce the qualifying period for firefighters for oesophageal cancer from 25 years to 15 years and extend coverage of presumptive workers’ compensation to volunteer firefighters in the Australian Capital Territory.
The amendments also clarify how volunteer firefighters access the presumptive provisions under the SRC Act. The Australian Capital Territory can establish an advisory committee to provide expert advice to assist with the determination of volunteer firefighter claims.
For more information on Secure Jobs, Better Pay, please visit the Secure Jobs, Better Pay webpage.
Amendments to the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Regulations 2019
On 17 December 2022, the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Regulations 2019 were amended to expand the list of prescribed cancers for firefighters employed under the SRC Act to include:
- malignant mesothelioma
- primary site lung cancer
- primary site skin cancer
- primary site cervical cancer
- primary site ovarian cancer
- primary site penile cancer
- primary site pancreatic cancer, and
- primary site thyroid cancer.
These amendments help to ensure that both employed and volunteer firefighters who contract specified illnesses have improved access to workers’ compensation arrangements, streamlining the claims process to allow these workers to focus on their treatment and recovery.
Review of the firefighter provisions of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988
In 2019, we conducted a review of the firefighter provisions of the SRC Act with assistance from Professor Tim Driscoll, an independent consultant in epidemiology, occupational health and public health.
The review was informed by consultation with key stakeholders who were invited to make submissions to the review.
The final report of the review was provided to the then Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash and the report recommendations were accepted.
All recommendations requiring legislative amendment have now been implemented as part of the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Act 2022 and through amendments to the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Regulations 2019.
A copy of the final report is available: Review of the firefighter provisions of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act)