Following yesterday’s rather popular post about “making (non)sense about IMEs” I have decided to lodge (yet again) a formal complaint with WorkSafe about the inappropriate behaviour of my case manager from hell. Whilst looking for the complaint form, I thought I’d just share some things about making a complaint about workcover…
What is a workcover complaint?
A complaint is any written or verbal expression of dissatisfaction with:
- the service provided by, or
- the conduct of the Victorian WorkCover Authority including WorkSafe Victoria, its WorkCover Agents, WorkCover Assist, self insurers, Independent Medical Examiners, Occupational Rehabilitation Providers, Legal Panel, Private Investigators or WorkSafe Authorised Certificate Assessors
- Complaints about licensed or registered service providers are not included in the scope of this definition
- A complaint also includes dissatisfaction with any aspect of the WorkCover legislation or scheme.
A complaint can include the following:
- any claims issues (for example poor decision making, poor explanations, lack of/incorrect information provided, poor/inappropriate communication)
- the performance of WorkSafe functions, or the way these functions and decisions are communicated
- premium issues/objections
- conciliation non-compliance
- matters of conduct about an employee of the VWA or WorkCover Agent(s), including inappropriate behaviour
- non-compliance or delays in complying with requests for information made under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 or the Accident Compensation Act 1985
- inadequate or inappropriate handling of personal information, including potential breaches of the Privacy Act 1988 or other relevant acts
- complaints about employers not meeting their obligations as specified in the Accident Compensation Act 1985, and associated VWA and Workcover Agent enforcement requirements
Who can make a complaint about workcover?
- an injured worker, their representative or family member
- Health and Safety Representatives or members of the public
- an employer
- a union official
- healthcare professional treating an injured worker
- Members of Parliament
- the Accident Compensation Conciliation Service
How can you make a complaint?
Complaints may be received in many ways: verbally (face-to-face or over the phone); written ;email (via the web or email addresses).
Complaint about workcover staff (i.e. your case manager)
You need to lodge your complaint directly with us either by
- Phone – call WrkSafe on freecall 1800 136 089 or (03) 9641 1444
- Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mail – write to us or complete the worksafe complaints form
If you need assistance to lodge a complaint, contact our WorkSafe’s Advisory Service.
How will the complaint be investigated?
Complaints will be investigated in accordance with the following principles:
• All complaints will be investigated by an appropriately authorised person.
• The investigation of complaints must be fair to both the complainant and the organisation or individual being complained about.
• With the exception of complaints about WorkSafe Inspector Conduct which are referred to the WorkSafe Compliance Co-ordination Branch (CCB), complaints about the conduct of a VWA staff member are to be referred directly to the respective staff member’s Manager for investigation. Only the Manager will collect information about the nature of the complaint.
• Any Whistleblower complaints will be investigated in accordance with the Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001. These complaints are referred directly to the Protected Disclosure Officer.
• Complaints will be dealt with quickly and complainants will be treated courteously.
• The complaints handling process will have the capacity to determine and implement remedies.
• Where matters cannot be satisfactorily resolved by the complaints process the complainant will be advised of the independent external avenues to resolve the complaint.
Referral of complaints
• Complaints may be referred to another area, in accordance with the following:Staff in the WorkCover Advisory Service will endeavour to resolve the complaint personally unless the complaint relates to Premium, an Independent Medical Examiner or the conduct of a VWA staff member. If this is not possible, they may refer it to their direct manager.
• Any claims-related complaint that requires detailed investigation is to be referred to the Complaints Resolution Branch.
• The Complaints Resolution Branch is responsible for investigating claims related complaints and any consultation with business subject experts.
• Any Workplace Injury Insurance related complaint or objection is to be referred to the Premium Division for investigation.
• Complaints about WorkSafe matters will either be handled by the WorkCover Advisory Service (OH&S Team) or referred to the relevant manager or the WorkSafe CCB.
VWA’s agents are expected to resolve complaints directly within their own complaints procedures rather than escalating to the VWA.
If the complaint needs to be referred to another organisation for investigation, the VWA will notify the complainant.