There are a range of options to help resolve disputes about injury management.
Types of injury management disputes include:
- where there is no injury management plan or it has not been followed
- there is no return to work plan or it has not been followed
- where no suitable work has been provided for the worker
- the workers capacity to perform duties is disputed
Employers are required to provide suitable employment when a worker is unable to return to their normal duties after an injury.
Suitable employment (sometimes also referred to as suitable duties, suitable work, pre injury duties, modified duties, or light duties) can include:
- changing hours of work (eg working part time)
- modifying duties (eg no longer doing any heavy lifting)
- giving them a different job (eg office work rather than manual work)
- providing training opportunities (eg to do another job in the company)
- trying a different workplace
When disputes happen there is help available to have it resolved. Give us a call on 13 10 50 and we can also talk you through the process outlined below.
Request assistance by the insurer
The first step is to contact the insurer and request they assist to resolve the dispute.
The insurer may be able to discuss the issues with all parties and attempt to resolve the dispute.
The insurer may also engage an injury management consultant or an approved workplace rehabilitation provider to help.
Injury management consultants are medical practitioners who assist insurers, employers, workers and treating doctors find return to work solutions.
They assess the nature of the problem and attempt to mediate a solution through discussions with the nominated treating doctor.
Workplace rehabilitation providers offer specialised workplace rehabilitation services to help injured workers return to work. The service is largely delivered at the workplace and is aimed at ensuring all aspects that have an impact on the worker returning to work are considered.
Where a dispute relates to an employer’s obligation to provide suitable employment, assistance can be sought from SIRA or a SafeWork NSW inspector.
SafeWork NSW Inspectors have the authority to advise employers and issue notices or penalties for non compliance with legislative obligations.
Request a review by the WCC
The Workers Compensation Commission (WCC) is a government agency who helps resolve workers compensation disputes between injured workers, employers and/or insurers.
Examples of the disputes they resolve include:
- weekly benefits compensation
- suitable employment following a work injury
- medical, hospital and related expenses
- liability for permanent impairment compensation
- pain and suffering compensation
- compensation for death of a worker
- compensation for damage to personal property
- compensation for domestic assistance
- degree of permanent impairment
Anyone involved in an injury management dispute (worker, employer, insurer) can lodge an application to resolve the dispute with the WCC.
For more detailed information you can visit their website or call 1300 368 040.
Contact the WIRO
The Workers Compensation Independent Review Office (WIRO) is an independent statutory office with a variety of roles, which include helping find solutions to disputes by contacting the insurer directly on your behalf.
Where disputes cannot be resolved, they can help injured workers seek free legal advice through the Independent Legal Assistance and Review Service
You can contact the WIRO if you are dissatisfied at any stage throughout this process.
For more information about how WIRO can help, you can: