On Thursday 3 March 2016, the Governor of South Australia proclaimed that the Workers Compensation Tribunal (WCT) would be dissolved, with the last day of operations on Friday 4 March 2016.
In accordance with the transitional regulations made under the Return to Work Act 2014 - as published in the Government Gazette - all remaining matters were transferred to the South Australian Employment Tribunal (SAET).
SAET was established to replace the WCT as part of the Government’s 2015 reform of workers compensation and future reform of employment related matters generally.
SAET’s Return to Work (workers compensation) jurisdiction commenced on 1 July 2015, and from that time no new matters were commenced in the WCT. Since then, the cases before the WCT have been progressively resolved to a stage where the Government considered it was appropriate to dissolve the WCT and transfer the remaining matters to SAET.
SAET provides timely, fair and independent resolution of workers compensation matters and helps injured workers return to meaningful employment.
What does this mean for matters previously dealt with under the Workers Compensation Tribunal?
SAET is now the sole dispute resolution forum for South Australia’s Return to Work scheme.
For cases transferred to SAET, it will be largely business as usual. The dispute resolution processes have been streamlined, but are much the same as they were before.
File numbers for existing matters will remain the same, and any decisions, directions or orders relating to those matters will continue to apply under SAET. The transfer of files to SAET will have no effect on entitlements or rights under the Return to Work Act.
The Return to Work (Transitional Arrangements)(Dissolution of Workers Compensation Tribunal) Regulations 2016 are available at www.legislation.sa.gov.au.
For more information, please visit the SAET website www.saet.sa.gov.au.