PIAWE reforms start next month

notice | 14/09/2019

A worker's pre-injury average weekly earnings (PIAWE) will be easier to calculate and understand for workers injured on or after 21 October 2019, when reforms take effect.

The PIAWE reforms notified today on the NSW Legislation website include commencement of schedule 3 to the Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2018 and making of the Workers Compensation Amendment (Pre-Injury Average Weekly Earnings) Regulation 2019.

The changes simplify the way in which a worker’s PIAWE is calculated so it is easier for workers and employers to understand and for insurers to apply.

The new PIAWE method will enable employers and workers to agree on the PIAWE amount to be applied as an alternative to the insurer making a PIAWE work capacity decision.

The new method:

  • is transparent and can be applied across a wide range of working arrangements
  • will save time to allow workers, employers and insurers to focus on return to work and improved outcomes for workers, and
  • will reduce PIAWE-related disputes.

New Workers compensation guidelines issued

The simplified PIAWE method is supported by new Workers compensation guidelines.

The Guidelines will take effect and apply to all claims from 21 October 2019 (irrespective of when the claim is made). Part 10 of these Guidelines on PIAWE applies only to workers injured on or after 21 October 2019.

The guidelines, gazetted today, replace the Workers compensation guidelines dated December 2018.

Standards of practice updated

Amendments to the Standards of practice: expectations for insurer claims administration and conduct will also apply from 21 October 2019.

Further information regarding the changes to PIAWE is available on SIRA’s Claims management guide on the SIRA website.

This includes:

You can also access:

The reforms have been informed by extensive consultation with key stakeholders and the PIAWE reference group, comprised of senior representatives from SIRA, the Workers Compensation Commission, the Workers Compensation Independent Review Office, insurers, unions, employers and legal representatives.

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

SIRA is scheduling training sessions for insurers in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong.  Further details will be communicated directly with insurers.

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