New WorkCover laws in Victoria will be, supposedly, simpler from 1 July

worksafe-victoria-fun

As we published last year in our article “Workcover Vic laws to be re-written to improve clarity & clean up the maze – really?“, the new Victorian Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (the WIRC Act ) takes effect on 1 July this year (2014).

New WorkCover laws in Victoria will be supposedly simpler from 1 July

As we published last year, the new Victorian workers comp legislation combines the Accident Compensation Act 1985 and the Accident Compensation (WorkCover Insurance) Act 1993, into a single Act ( the WIRC Act) that is supposedly simpler and easier to use. The new, revised Act also allows employers to seek a review of their workers’ comp premium rates through the Civil and Administrative Council.

The WIRC Act can be found on the Parliament of Victoria website (The information can be found under the section: Victorian Statute Book> 2013> Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013)

View a guide to the (new) Act, an explanatory video and tables comparing the old and new legislation>>

worksafe-victoria-funWhat’s more, the “WorkSafe Victoria” brand will be discarded officially on 1 July 2014, and replaced with the (old) regulator’s legal name – the Victorian WorkCover Authority (VWA).

A good thing we still have the old brand on our home made slogan 🙂

As you may already have noticed the ‘brand” “VWA” has already been used on a number of documents for the past few months or so, and even more so since a week.WIRC_IMG

The VWA says its legal name is apparently better as it “better reflects its broad responsibilities, which include managing the State workers’ comp scheme and providing injury insurance, as well as enforcing OHS laws” —Duh?

 

 

See more at http://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/laws-and-regulations/accident-compensation

 The workcover Vic maze

At the time the new WIRC was proposed and re-written,Victorian Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips said that (the Act)  is “presented in a logical and sequential order with visual aids, making it easier for all users to better understand their legislative rights”.

He also said “The re-write was also undertaken on a ‘no benefit change’ basis and will continue to offer all existing entitlements and benefits currently available to injured workers and their families”.

But: “Employers can now request a review of [a] premium notice at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Council if they are dissatisfied with the Victorian Authority’s review decision. This complements the existing right employers have to seek a review in the Supreme Court.”

workcover-mazeRead more about and explanation of those “improvements” under our article: “Workcover Vic laws to be re-written to improve clarity & clean up the maze – really?

 

 

[Post dictated by workcovervictim and manually transcribed on her behalf]



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4 Responses to “New WorkCover laws in Victoria will be, supposedly, simpler from 1 July”

  1. Since fish face joined the workcover we can only expect worst things from this apparent rebuff.
    Also when big corporations (in this case Worksafe) change their legal name, it’s done for the only purpose of dodging legal and fiscal responsibilities.
    All they said about making the Act easier to understand it’s all BS!

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    Xchangingvictim June 14, 2014 at 8:47 pm
  2. I am pointing to the “no benefit change ”
    But, remember that the new Act clearly states that injured workers for example, now have very stingy obligations to assist the RTW process, with the new Act requiring a much higher level of engagement and effort from the part of an injured worker.
    For example: An injured worker will be required to use occupational rehabilitation services, participate in assessments and participate in interviews “to the extent it is reasonable to do so” rather than the current standard of merely to “actively participate” and “co-operate”.

    Arguably, the re-written Act provides only more opportunity for cessation of payments. i.e. where injured workers are not “genuinely” pursuing return to work. It also allows employers to meddle much more with disputes of claims (!) and so forth. Basically all is rewritten in such a way as to maximise ‘legitimate’ ways to deny, deny and deny. Nice 🙁

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    Workcovervictim3 June 14, 2014 at 9:07 pm
  3. Victorian workplaces benefit from new compensation laws
    Thursday, 03 July 2014

    Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips has today highlighted the benefits of the new Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (WIRC Act), which came into effect on 1 July. The new legislation will reduce red tape and offer a new right for employers to have their WorkCover premiums independently reviewed.

    “The Victorian Coalition Government has delivered on its election commitment to combine the 30-year-old Accident Compensation Act 1985 and the Accident Compensation(WorkCover Insurance) Act 1993 into a single Act. This makes it simpler and easier for employers to comply with their requirements without compromising health and safety or the support provided to injured workers,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

    “The new legislation maintains all existing workers compensation benefits for injured workers under one simplified act. This is a triumph of common sense.

    “Rather than having compensation, rehabilitation, return to work, WorkCover and insurance premiums in separate legislation, the Napthine Government has brought it all together under one act. This is obviously a more logical and streamlined approach.

    “The Napthine Government promised to reduce the regulatory burden associated with workers compensation legislation. The implementation of the WIRC Act – a culmination of three years’ consultation and hard work – delivers on that commitment,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

    The WIRC Act follows recent announcements by the Napthine Government of amendments to Victoria’s OHS Regulations, which will save $31 million in red tape for Victorian businesses.

    The Premier, Dr Denis Napthine, and Mr Rich-Phillips also recently announced a two per cent reduction in WorkCover premiums for 2014/15, which will save businesses $40 million over 2014/15 and see the average WorkCover premium fall to 1.272 per cent of payroll.

    View media release here

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    Workcovervictim3 July 4, 2014 at 9:10 am
    • As of 1 July 2014, new legislation will regulate the entitlements of Victorians injured at work to compensation and assistance.

      The Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (the WIRC Act) outlines the scope of benefits that can be claimed for injuries suffered at work on or after 1 July 2014. Injuries occurring prior to 1 July 2014 will continue to be regulated by the Accident Compensation Act 1985. Where an injury has been sustained because of the nature of a worker’s duties or over the course of their employment, they will be subject to the WIRC Act where they have submitted a claim after 1 July 2014.

      The benefits available to injured workers does not change between the WIRC Act and the former regime.

      The major difference between the two laws is the renumbering of sections governing entitlements under the system.

      However as I pointed out in a previous comment, with re to the ‘no benefit’ changes’ : an injured worker will be required to use occupational rehabilitation services, participate in assessments and participate in interviews “to the extent it is reasonable to do so” rather than the current standard of merely to “actively participate” and “co-operate”.

      Arguably, the re-written Act provides only more opportunity for cessation of payments. i.e. where injured workers are not “genuinely” pursuing return to work.

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      Workcovervictim3 July 4, 2014 at 9:15 am