SIMPLIFYING claims and removing duplication are among the measures laid out in a plan to reform the workers compensation dispute resolutions system in New South Wales.
The NSW Government claimed the proposed reforms will improve the experience of injured workers by improving support services, simplifying claim processes and removing duplication.
It follows a review undertaken in response to recommendations of the Legislative Council Standing Committee on Law and Justice.
The proposed reforms include:
- All enquiries and complaints from injured workers that are not resolved with their insurer in the first instance will be directed to the Workers Compensation Independent Review Office (WIRO) for assistance;
- All enquiries and complaints from employers and other system participants will be referred to the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA); and
- The Workers Compensation Commission (WCC) will undertake all dispute resolution once an internal review is completed by an insurer, removing these functions from SIRA and WIRO.
WIRO will continue to administer the Independent Legal Aid and Review Service (ILARS), providing legal support to injured workers.
The review involved extensive consultation with stakeholders, injured workers and representatives from icare, SIRA, WIRO and the WCC. Some of the reforms are subject to legislation expected to be introduced later this year.
Minister for Finance, Services and Property Victor Dominello said the proposed reforms will improve the experience of injured workers by improving support services, simplifying claim processes and removing duplication.
“The proposed changes are supported by a broad cross section of stakeholders and will deliver a one-stop shop for resolving disputes,” he said.