New WorkCover Victoria legislation as of 1 July 2014

new-workcover-vic-laws

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’.

This was also announced in a Media release ‘Victorian workplaces benefit from new compensation laws ‘ on 3 July by Gordon Rich Phillips.

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.new-workcover-vic-brand

worksafe-victoria-funThe “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)

 

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
new-workcover-certificate-VIC

Download the certificate

 

  • 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
    years.)

More information on the new WorkCover Vic legislation

Related articles

 

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

 

updated9 July 2014



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5 Responses to “New WorkCover Victoria legislation as of 1 July 2014”

  1. Since fish face took sit in the office what good things can injured workers expect?
    Reasonable measures were already in force guess now they enforce it into their pockets even more.
    Disgusting!

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    Xchangingvictim July 4, 2014 at 10:29 pm
  2. We’ve just added the new Victorian certificate of capacity to the article. Note the “capacity assessment”… there is nothing about *pain* (which we believe is extremely important); and in the mental assessment there is nothing about for example *major depression, anxiety, PTSD, insomnia (i.e due to pain, stress etc)*. Again it appears that the most prevalent factors impeding RTW are simply not on the form, and not considered. We wonder who exactly ‘developed’ this new form?

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    • Depression and Chronic Pain are both things that I have to deal with, my GP used the old form at my last appointment and is going to look at the new one to see how it fits for me, and his other patients… I’ll find out his thoughts end of this month…
      There is room for “other” and comments about the areas on the form about limitations. Guess they can’t include everything in tick boxes….
      There has been some talk at the pain clinic about Chronic Pain being made a disease in its own right.. I’ll keep my ear to the ground on this and post when I hear anything new.

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      • While there are a lot of things not on the forms, I’m kind of ok with them as all my G.P writes is as previous certificate. She doesn’t elaborate at all, so unless the insurance company knows my file back to front (which we all know they don’t) they’d have to search my file for things I can’t do. Depending which DR i see in the surgery also is to what they all say the diagnosis is, I’m not sure any of my certificates match!

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    • And also tell me why Unions are left out of this huge piece of delicious cake?
      Insurance companies together with some law firms meet privately and decide what will be our future!

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      Xchangingvictim July 9, 2014 at 9:19 pm