New injury dispute system, "one-stop shop" announced in NSW | NECA

News & Views

6th September 2019

New injury dispute system, "one-stop shop" announced in NSW

The NSW Government has agreed to consolidate the dispute resolution systems for the workers' comp and compulsory third-party (CTP) insurance schemes into a single personal injury tribunal, by expanding the jurisdiction of the Worker Compensation Commission but retaining two streams of expertise.

In its seven-page response to the 2018 inquiries into the feasibility of a consolidated tribunal, the Government said it will consult with industry stakeholders on the operational model and scope of the proposed tribunal; the provision of legal and other forms of support for injured people; review and appeal pathways; and the potential impacts on scheme participants.

As reported by OHS Alert, the Legislative Council's Standing Committee on Law and Justice was tasked with reviewing the workers' comp and CTP insurance dispute resolutions systems in May last year (see related article), after its 2017 inquiry into the workers' comp scheme found the bifurcated dispute resolution process is perceived as causing delays and delivering inconsistent decisions (see related article).

"Every year in NSW there are over 100,000 people who make a workers' compensation or CTP motor accident claim. In establishing a consolidated personal injury commission, we want to reduce complexity and potential 'process trauma' for those seeking to dispute an insurer's decision," NSW Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said on the release of the Government's response.

"We acknowledge that the current dispute resolution process can be improved and we want to provide the best possible experience for those injured in the workplace or on our roads, in order to support their rehabilitation and recovery," the Minister said.

In related news, the State Insurance Regulatory Authority has launched the Workers' compensation claims management guide – an "easy to use, 'one-stop-shop' for workers' compensation claims management information".

With sections on the "claims journey", regulatory instruments, insurance and forms, the guide "will help insurers make claims management decisions in line with legislation and regulatory requirements, and assist workers seeking further detail about their entitlements", SIRA says.

Published with permission OHS Alert