Page 5725 - Week 15 - Thursday, 10 December 2009
In conclusion, this bill will save ACT employers approximately $4 million in reduced red tape and administration costs; it will implement the new national framework for the approval of workplace rehabilitation providers; it will strengthen the compliance framework; and it will signal that sham contracting is an unacceptable business practice in the territory.
In closing, I would like to thank the Office of Industrial Relations staff for the development of this bill, their oversight of the work and briefing members of the Assembly extensively on this bill—and also to thank members of the Assembly for participating in those briefings and allowing this bill to pass today.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Clauses 1 to 10, by leave, taken together and agreed to.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (4.19): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 5769].
This amendment is to section 147A and adds a new section 147A(6A) and restores the current exemption for non-business employers. Its effect will be to continue the existing requirements on non-business employers to maintain approved workers compensation insurance on pain of a strict liability penalty of 50 units. This is reflected in subsection (2). Employers will not liable for penalties relating to the three levels of default notice that are outlined in subsections (3), (4) and (5). Default notices can still be issued but the penalties do not apply.
As I said in the in-principle debate, the question of workers compensation for non-business employers is a complex one which I would like the Assembly—perhaps through a committee inquiry or at least through discussions with officials, as we further develop this legislation—to consider at a future time. My amendment simply restores the current exemption for this group of employers and I commend it to the Assembly.
MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (4.21): The Greens will not be supporting this amendment from the Liberals today. To be clear, from the outset we agree with the underlying purpose of the amendment—that is, to protect ordinary householders from the harsher criminal penalties if they fail to provide workers compensation insurance for nannies, babysitters, gardeners and other such employees. However, we believe there does need to be further investigation on the extent of non-business employers to ensure that householders are the only groups exempted from these penalties.
Furthermore, there is uncertainty in the bill as to the types of insurance that constitute workers compensation insurance. In the case of householders, without this