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Section 18 - A Solution Looking for a Problem


Friday 21 July 2023

Section 18: A Solution Looking for a Problem

State Government releases draft Bill that proposes a range of amendments to the obligation to provide suitable employment under the Return to Work Act.

While few would argue with the proposition that it has taken some time to get some clarity around the operation of section 18 of the Return to Work Act 2014 (SA) (the RTW Act), this is in large part a consequence of the relatively few applications made pursuant to section 18 that have resulted in decisions from the South Australian Employment Tribunal (the SAET) and the Full Bench of the South Australian Employment Tribunal.

Before reviewing the Return to Work (Employment and Progressive Injuries) Amendment Bill 2023 (the Section 18 Amendment Bill), it is worth considering the broader context within which an employer’s obligation to provide suitable employment operates in the RTW Act.

The Section 18 Amendment Bill proposes to make a range of significant changes to the manner in which the RTW Act operates. These include:

  1. Provisions to facilitate claims for workers suffering certain conditions
  2. Grounds to reject a request for suitable employment
  3. The requirement to consider certain factors in determining whether it is reasonably practicable for an employer to provide suitable employment
  4. Labour-hire requirements
  5. Right to request suitable employment after recovering from an injury
  6. New Tribunal powers
  7. Costs
  8. New jurisdiction for monetary claims
  9. Impairment assessments for terminally ill workers

To read the full detailed analysis on our website, or download the PDF please click here