Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Guides & Guidelines as made
This instrument revokes the 1999 rehabilitation guidelines and issues new guidelines pursuant to section 41 of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.
Administered by: Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Registered 03 Aug 2005
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR09-Aug-2005
Tabled Senate10-Aug-2005
Date of repeal 01 Jul 2012
Repealed by Guidelines for Rehabilitation Authorities 2012



Issued by the authority of the

Chief Executive Officer of Comcare


Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988


Rehabilitation Guidelines for Employers - section 41


The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act) provides for the rehabilitation and compensation of work-injured employees in the Commonwealth jurisdiction.


Part III of the SRC Act gives employers as ‘rehabilitation authorities’ the responsibility to manage the rehabilitation and return to work of their injured employees. 


Section 41 of the SRC Act provides:


a.       Comcare may prepare and issue to rehabilitation authorities guidelines in relation to the performance or exercise by those authorities of their functions or powers under this part.

b.      A rehabilitation authority shall comply with any guidelines issued under subsection (1).


The employer’s role is pivotal in maximising good rehabilitation outcomes.  Rehabilitation in the workers’ compensation environment is designed to maintain injured employees within the workplace or return them to suitable employment as quickly and safely as possible.  This is achieved through early communication with treating service providers, setting expectations and following through with a structured plan to achieve agreed goals.  The object of the guidelines is to assist employers to develop an effective approach to the rehabilitation of their injured employees consistent with their obligations under the SRC Act.


These guidelines revoke and replace the guidelines issued by Comcare in March 1999.  The new guidelines have been developed through an extensive consultation process and cover a range of rehabilitation and related topics.  Building on the 1999 guidelines, the new guidelines include explanatory notes and provide guidance on the rehabilitation policy, the rehabilitation case management function, issues for consideration in arranging a rehabilitation assessment, delivering a rehabilitation program and duty to provide suitable employment.


The process for the review and consultation on the guidelines included the use of a number of focus groups, with representatives from premium paying agencies, licensed self-insurers and approved rehabilitation providers (prior to and post drafting); circulation of the draft externally to a large cross section of premium paying agencies, all licensees, employee representatives and the ACT rehabilitation provider group.  The proposed final document was placed on Comcare’s website and provided to all licensees.


The guidelines take effect from 1 September 2005.