Opinion Number. 752

Subject

COMMONWEALTH BANK: WORKERS' COMPENSATION: INCONSISTENCY WHETHER COMMONWEALTH BANK IS SUBJECT TO COMMONWEALTH EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION LEGISLATION: BANK AN AUTHORITY UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH': STATE WORKERS' COMPENSATION LEGISLATION

Key Legislation

COMMONWEALTH WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION ACT 1912, ss. 3, 4: WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION ACT 1910 (N.S.W.)

Date
Client
The Secretary to the Treasury

The Secretary to the Treasury has forwarded the following letter from the Deputy-Governor of the Commonwealth Bank for advice:

I have the honour to advise that this Bank will shortly be entering into occupation of the new premises in Pitt and Moore Streets, Sydney, which have been erected, and the question has arisen as to whether it is necessary for the Bank to take out insurance covering employers' liability.

This relates to liftmen who would be driving the lifts in the building, and also to messengers who would be carrying out their various duties.

I am enclosing herewith copy of the New South Wales Act of Parliament relating to this matter, and shall be obliged if you will obtain an opinion from the Attorney-General's Department and advise me.

By section 4 of the Commonwealth Workmen's Compensation Act 1912 if personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment is caused to a workman in the service of the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth is liable to pay compensation fixed in accordance with the Act.

The Commonwealth, by the Act, includes any authority under the Commonwealth.

I think that for the purposes of this Act the Commonwealth Bank is an authority under the Commonwealth, and, in my opinion, the Bank would be liable under the Commonwealth Workmen's Compensation Act 1912 to pay compensation to an employee of the Bank, who comes within the definition of workman, and who is injured by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment.

As the Commonwealth Workmen's Compensation Act applies to the Bank, the Workmen's Compensation Act of the State of New South Wales does not apply to it. The question as to whether the Governor of the Bank should take out insurance to cover the liability imposed by the Commonwealth Workmen's Compensation Act is a question of policy to be decided by the Governor of the Bank.

[Vol. 14, p. 469]