As we have previously posted, as of 1 July 2014, new WorkCover Victoria legislation (the WIRC Act) will regulate the entitlements of Victorians injured at work to compensation and ‘assistance’.
The new 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 do not change between the WIRC Act and the former regime (the Accident Compensation Act 1985).
The major difference between the two laws is the renumbering of sections governing entitlements under the system.
Whilst the “benefits” to injured workers to not change per se
We have noticed that in the new WIRC:
- 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!
- As of 1 July, a new Certificate of Capacity will be available for Treating Health Practitioners to use.
This new certificate focuses on what the worker can do. Again, read between the lines. You can read more about the new certificate of capacity on the VWA website
- Employers can now also 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
- Premium Calculation Changes
They have also changed the time period that claims are included from when calculating the employer’s premium.
> The Claims Reporting Period has been moved back 6 months
> More time to let a claim develop before they use it in the employer’s premium.
> VWA can make a better assessment of the expected costs of the claim.
> More time for the employer to help their injured worker to return to work and reduce the impact of the claim on the employer’s premium.
> Claims period shortened to 2½ years (In 2017/18, the claims period will go back to being a full three
More information on the new WorkCover Vic legislation
- Information about the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013
- A guide to the 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>>
- Employer Information Roadshow 2014 (kindly shared by Woowoo with thanks)
- more at http://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/laws-and-regulations/accident-compensation
- New WorkCover laws in Victoria will be, supposedly, simpler from 1 July
- 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]