Exemption application – February 2015 | 1
Section 20A Request for
Exemption from the Application of the
Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1992
Seacare form 10
This form should be used to request an exemption from the Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1992
pursuant to section 20A of the Act. As part of this application, you should:
ensure that the conditions established by the Seacare Authority Exemption Guidelines are met (see
Attachment A)—the Authority considers all requests for exemption in accordance with these Guidelines
complete and sign the attached application form
check the residency details of the employees subject to the proposed exemption
attach written evidence of the workers’ compensation policy that will completely cover employees in the
event that an exemption is granted and sign the declaration—see guidance on what constitutes sufficient
written evidence at Attachment B
send the application form to the Authority by faxing to 02 6275 0067; emailing seacare@comcare.gov.au;
or mailing to Seacare Authority, GPO Box 9905, CANBERRA ACT 2601 at least seven days before the
commencement date of the proposed exemption
• call 02 6275 0070 or email seacare@comcare.gov.au to notify the Authority that an application form has
been submitted.
Issued by the Seacare Authority
February 2015
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Application for section 20A exemption
Seafarers Rehabilitation and
Compensation Act 1992
Seacare form 10
1. Applicant’s details
Name
Company
Position in company
Postal address
Telephone Fax
Email
2. Applicant’s employer details
Trading name
Company name
ABN/ACN
Contact officer
Postal address
Telephone Fax
Email
3. Are any other employers associated with the ship and voyage(s) this exemption relates to?
No. Go to question 4.
Yes. For each additional employer, complete questions 2, 5 and 6 on a separate form.
4. Details of the ship and voyage(s) an exemption is being requested for
Name of ship
Purpose of voyage
Start date Departing from
End date Arriving at
Other relevant details (e.g. ports to be visited)
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5a. Estimate the number of employees from each location listed that will be subject to the proposed exemption
(if multiple employers exist, each employer must provide this information)
State of residency NSW VIC WA QLD SA TAS NT Outside Australia
Number of employees
5b. These employees represent:
All employees on the ship
A particular group or groups of employees. If so, list the name(s) of the group(s)
A particular employee or employees. If so, list the name(s) of the individual(s)
6. Attach written evidence of the workers’ compensation policy that will completely cover the above employee(s)
for the voyage(s) described in section 4 in the event that the Authority grants your request (this must be provided
for each employer involved)
Signature Date
Note: The Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority is empowered to grant exemptions from the Seafarers Rehabilitation
and Compensation Act under section 20A of that Act. A decision made under section 20A is reviewable under the Administrative Decisions
(Judicial Review) Act 1977.
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Attachment A
Seacare Authority exemption guidelines
February 2015
Without limiting in any way the power of the Seafarers Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority (the
Authority) to exempt employment on a particular ship from the operation of the Seafarers, Rehabilitation and
Compensation Act 1992 (the Seafarers Act) pursuant to section 20A, the Authority has adopted the following
guidelines to assist in determining exemption requests.
1. Application to the Authority for an exemption
All requests for exemptions from the application of the Seafarers Act by operators should be provided to the
Authority in writing and be:
(a) in accordance with the Section 20A Request for Exemption from the Application of the Seafarers
Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1992 form (Seacare form 10)
(b) accompanied by written evidence from an insurer that the employees will be completely covered by a
valid, current and suitable workers’ compensation policy (including under a state or territory workers’
compensation scheme) for the duration of the proposed period of exemption from the Seafarers Act
(c) provided by mail, email or facsimile within a minimum of 7 days prior to the proposed date of
commencement of the exemption (noting that more complex requests may take longer to determine and
that applicants will be promptly advised if a longer period is required).
Note: The Authority may exempt the employment on a particular prescribed ship from the operation of the
Seafarers Act pursuant to section 20A of that Act by its own motion (i.e. without an application from the
operator of the prescribed ship which would be subject to the exemption granted) if the Authority considers that
in all the circumstances it is appropriate to grant the exemption. The Seacare Authority exemption guidelines do
not apply to exemptions granted by the Authority by its own motion.
In granting exemptions of own motion, the Authority will follow administrative law principles.
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2. Consideration by the Authority of an application for exemption
2.1 General
(a) Consideration by the Authority of an application for exemption from the operation of the Seafarers Act will in
every case involve an assessment pursuant to section 19 of the Seafarers Act as to whether the Seafarers
Act has application to the employment of the employees on the particular ship or ships which would be
subject to the proposed exemption.
For example, fishing vessels and fishing fleet support vessels proceeding on voyages other than
overseas voyages would not be covered by the legislation; therefore applications for exemption would be
inappropriate.
(b) All requests for exemptions will be considered on their merits.
(c) In accordance with section 20A(4) of the Seafarers Act the Authority will not grant an exemption from the
operation of the Act if the proposed exemption would be inconsistent with an obligation of Australia under
an international agreement.
2.2 Factors for consideration
Without limiting the circumstances in which the Authority may exempt employment on a particular prescribed
ship from the operation of the Seafarers Act, the Authority will consider the following factors:
(a) The nature of the operations and the voyage arrangements of the prescribed ship. The Authority may
exempt employment on a particular ship from the operations of the Seafarers Act where:
(i) the prescribed ship’s proposed voyage or voyages do not constitute a regular trading pattern;
(ii) the prescribed ship is expected to voyage between two places outside Australia over a period of
12 months or more, and the majority of crew on the prescribed ship are not residents of Australia; or
(iii) the voyages undertaken by the prescribed ship which make the prescribed ship subject to the
operation of the Seafarers Act are incidental to the primary operations of the prescribed ship.
For example, If a prescribed ship engaged in a particular industry is required to undertake interstate
voyages so that the prescribed ship can engage in and perform those industry operations/activities
interstate, then undertaking interstate voyages cannot be considered to be a primary part of or integral
to the operations of the ship.
(b) The availability of workers’ compensation insurance under a state or territory scheme, at a cost lower
than that available under the Seacare scheme
1
. The Authority may exempt employment on a particular
prescribed ship from the operation of the Seafarers Act where an employer is able to demonstrate to the
Authority that workers’ compensation cover is available to its employees under another Australian workers’
compensation scheme, at a cost that is below that available under the Seacare scheme.
(c) The size of the prescribed ship or ships. The Authority may exempt employment on a particular ship from
the operation of the Seafarers Act where a prescribed ship is under 500 gross tonnes.
(d) Prescribed ships operating within a territory only. The Authority may exempt employment from the operation
of the Seafarers Act where the prescribed ship voyages within a territory and does not voyage between a
territory and a place (or places) outside a territory.
1 This factor is included in these guidelines in accordance with the Seafarers Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Directions 2006 (1),
issued by the Minister on 24 August 2006.
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3. Granting an exemption
(a) Any exemption granted by the Authority from the operation of the Seafarers Act under section 20A must be
issued in writing by the Authority.
(b) An exemption granted by the Authority to employment on a prescribed ship or ships from the operation of
the Seafarers Act must specify:
(i) the particular prescribed ship or ships to which the exemption granted by the Authority applies
(ii) the employees on the prescribed ship or ships to which the exemption relates.
The employees to which the exemption may relate may be specified to be all a particular group or
groups of employees, or a particular employee or employees.
(c) In order to provide certainty in the operation of an exemption granted to employment on a particular
prescribed ship or ships, the scope of an exemption granted by the Authority should be specified to be
limited in scope to either:
(i) a particular voyage or voyages
(ii) a specified period of time
(iii) both a particular voyage or voyages and an approximate period of time.
If the scope of an exemption granted by the Authority is limited to a specified or approximate period of time,
the exemption should specify the time and date the exemption is expected to commence to have effect
and the time and date on which the exemption ceases to have effect or is expected to cease to have effect.
If the scope of an exemption granted by the Authority is limited to a particular voyage, the exemption should
at least specify the itinerary departure and arrival destinations and the estimated departure and arrival times
of the voyage.
It may be appropriate for the exemption to be expressed to allow for slippage in respect of the estimated
departure and arrival times of a particular voyage. Conditions may be attached to the exemption in this
respect, for example notification by the operator of the revised itinerary to the Authority may be required.
However, whether the scope is limited to a period of time or a particular voyage or both, the Authority
should not grant an exemption which would have effect for a period longer than 12 months.
On or before the expiration of the exemption, if a future exemption is required, the operator of the
prescribed ship to which the exemption relates must make a further application to the Authority for
an exemption from the operation of the Act. The Authority will then assess such further application in
accordance with these guidelines.
(d) An exemption granted by the Authority must set out any conditions attached to the granting of the
exemption.
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4. Operation of an exemption
(a) An exemption granted by the Authority is subject to any conditions set out in the exemption.
(b) While the terms and conditions of an exemption granted by the Authority are met, the Seafarers Act will not
apply to the employment on the prescribed ship which is subject to the exemption granted.
(c) If the terms and/or conditions to which an exemption is subject are breached, the exemption becomes null
and void and the Seafarers Act will again apply to the prescribed ship.
(d) The Authority has the power to amend the terms and conditions of the exemption granted to an operator of
a prescribed ship. If the Authority amends the exemption granted it will:
(i) give notice, in writing, of the amendment to the operator of the prescribed ship to which the exemption
relates
(ii) include in that notice details of the amendment to the exemption granted.
(e) The Authority has the power to revoke an exemption granted to the operator of a prescribed ship. If the
Authority decides to revoke an exemption, the Authority will:
(i) give notice, in writing, of its decision to revoke the exemption to the operator of the prescribed ship
which is the subject of the exemption granted
(ii) include in that notice the reasons for deciding to revoke the exemption granted.
(f) Exemptions granted by the Authority only apply to the application of the Seafarers Act. The Occupational
Health and Safety (Maritime Industry) Act 1993, the Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Levy Act
1992 and the Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Levy Collection Act 1992 and regulations made
under those Acts may still apply.
5. Review
The decision by the Authority to grant, revoke or amend an exemption from the operation of the Seafarers Act is
a decision which may be subject to judicial review under the Administrative Decision (Judicial Review) Act 1977
on the legal grounds set out in that Act (i.e. the review is not a merits review).
6. Interpretation
A voyage does not constitute a regular trading pattern where:
(a) a voyage either among the States, between a state and territory, or between two territories is not normally
undertaken as part of the principal operations of the prescribed ship.
(b) a voyage between Australia and a place (or places) outside Australia is not normally undertaken as part of
the principal operations of the prescribed ship.
For example, a non-regular trading pattern would be a delivery voyage among two states (or a single
voyage between Australia and a place outside Australia) where the prescribed ship is normally engaged in
intra-state voyages or voyages within a single territory only.
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Attachment B
Written evidence
1. In the case of an employer who is not approved or licensed as a workers’ compensation insurance
self-insurer the following constitutes sufficient written evidence of a workers’ compensation policy:
a letter from your insurer detailing your insurance coverage, or
a letter from your state/territory workers’ compensation authority detailing coverage.
Documentation provided, as indicated above, must include the following:
full name of the employer
name of the insurer
policy details (such as the relevant workers’ compensation scheme)
policy number
date of commencement of policy
date of expiry of policy (or if a rolling policy, indicate this)
the situation and voyages for which cover will be provided
a quotation or invoice issued by an approved insurer or broker indicating the cost of the workers’
compensation insurance.
DECLARATION—For employers who are not approved or licensed as a workers’ compensation self-insurer,
I declare that I have made inquiries for Seafarers Act insurance and have not been able to obtain such
insurance at a lower cost than the workers’ compensation insurance.
Name
Position
Signature Date
2. In the case of an employer who is approved or licensed as a workers’ compensation insurance self-insurer
the following constitutes sufficient written evidence:
a document issued by the relevant state or territory authority indicating that the employer is an
approved or licensed self-insurer.
DECLARATION—For employers who are approved or licensed as a workers’ compensation insurance
self-insurer.
I declare that I am not aware of any act or omission that would be grounds for revocation or suspension of
my approval or licence as a self-insurer, and I have adequate resources (including provisions, reserves and
any reinsurance) to meet my current and projected workers’ compensation liabilities.
Name
Position
Signature Date
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