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Workers compensation regulation bulletin - Issue 73 (October 2019)

recovery @ work program supports mentally healthy workplaces

We invite you to participate in three initiatives we've started as part of our mental health recovery @ work program.

recovery @ work reference group

Expressions of interest are now open for our new recovery @ work reference group.

Collaborate with us to help define and develop a clearer picture of recovery at work and how it can be improved through sharing your personal expertise and feedback from your networks.

If you'd like to add your voice to this reference group, express your interest by 11 October 2019.

Recovery Boost grants

Grants up to $50,000 are now available through our Recovery Boost program to support initiatives that contribute to a mentally healthy workplace. Successful projects will also be shared for the benefit of all NSW workplaces. Got something in mind? Apply now.

recovery @ work toolkit

The recovery @ work toolkit includes resources from Beyond Blue and R U OK? and helps explain the steps to mental health recovery at work.

Have your say about what you would like to see in the next version of the toolkit.

Updated guidance on referrals to injury management consultants

We have released updated guidance on how insurers should refer workers to injury management consultants (IMCs).
Amendments to Part 6 of the Workers Compensation Guidelines and Standard of Practice 14 were gazetted on 13 September and will take effect on Monday 21 October.

The new guidance is as follows:

  • A copy of the IMC's report should be provided to the worker after a file review or face-to-face consultation.
  • Before making a referral to an IMC, the insurer is to discuss the referral with the worker (file review or face-to-face consultation).
  • If the intended referral is for a file review, the worker is to be asked if they would like to be involved in discussions with the IMC.
  • If the intended referral is for a file review and the worker wants to be more actively involved, the insurer is to offer a face-to-face appointment.

The updated guidelines have also clarified that an IMC:

  • is a facilitator who mediates with parties to seek agreement on actions and outcomes
  • may conduct a file review
  • may talk to a worker as part of a file review, but it is not mandatory.

Existing guidelines and standards will apply until 21 October.

The updated Workers Compensation Guidelines and Standards of Practice are available on our website.

PIAWE reforms start soon

Reforms to pre-injury average weekly earnings (PIAWE) will apply to all workers injured on or after 21 October 2019.

We have run several training sessions in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong to help insurers prepare for the start of the PIAWE reforms.

Approximately 175 representatives from various insurers have attended the sessions to:

  • obtain information about the new PIAWE framework
  • understand what information and tools are available to support the changes
  • discuss and consider how to apply the changes in practice.

Another training session is planned in Sydney on 15 October 2019 for employers, unions, brokers and other interested parties. To register your interest in attending this session or request further assistance with understanding and preparing for the changes, please contact PolicyDesignWHBCR-SIRA@sira.nsw.gov.au

More information

Commencement of the PIAWE reforms was notified on 13 September 2019 on the NSW Legislation website, with Schedule 3 to the Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2018 and the Workers Compensation Amendment (Pre-Injury Average Weekly Earnings) Regulation 2019.

The simplified PIAWE method is supported by new Workers Compensation Guidelines and revised Standards of Practice: expectations for insurer claims administration and conduct, which will apply from 21 October 2019.

You can read more about the PIAWE changes in our online Claims management guide:

You can also access a:

The changes do not impact other weekly payment arrangements and entitlements.

For more information visit the SIRA website and the NSW Legislation website.

For general enquiries, please call 13 10 50.

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