Page 648 - Week 02 - Thursday, 20 February 2020

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provide a very important service and are trusted with the care and wellbeing of our children. It is only fair that they should have access to workers compensation benefits in the unfortunate circumstance that they are injured or become ill as a result of their work.

Family day care educators generally care for children in their own home, but in certain circumstances may care for a child in the child’s home. They do not employ staff but work alone. It is easy, therefore, to assume that they make all of the decisions for all aspects of the business. On first glance, they could be considered a sole trader. However, this is not the case. Family day care and in-home care educators operate under the close direction of a family day care service that will generally provide training, approval to operate and facilitate and collect the childcare benefit from the commonwealth government on their behalf.

There is no scope for a family day care educator to negotiate any independent contractual arrangements. It is therefore appropriate that these educators are considered workers for the purposes of workers compensation. In 2006 the ACT government made its intention to cover these educators under the workers compensation scheme clear. By definition, they were deemed to be workers. As times and definitions change, it is now necessary for us to amend the legislation to ensure that this commitment continues without any uncertainty or ambiguity in the legislation. This bill will make these changes.

The amendment bill will remove an outdated definition and declare people working in family day care and in-home care services in the ACT as workers for the purposes of the Workers Compensation Act. Not only will it do this, but it will ensure that our definition is in step with the current industry terminology and language. This is why the definition will now refer to an improved family day care service as defined by the Education and Care Services National Law (ACT) Act 2011.

This bill makes some small but necessary changes to the Workers Compensation Act 1951 that will provide better outcomes for workers covered by the scheme. It demonstrates this government’s continued commitment to ensuring that our workers compensation scheme continues to support timely, safe and durable return to work outcomes for our injured workers. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Cemeteries and Crematoria Bill 2019

Debate resumed from 28 November 2019, on motion by Mr Steel:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

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