Victoria strengthens injury compensation laws

The Victorian Government has introduced laws that encourage more timely and efficient resolutions for worker compensation disputes.

The Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment (Arbitration) Bill 2021 enables Victoria’s Accident Compensation Conciliation Services (ACCS) to deliver binding decision on disputes unable to be resolved by conciliation.

This includes workers from the mining industry, who can also refer their disputes to the ACCS.

The ACCS provides a cheaper and simpler alternative to court proceedings, allowing for a faster resolution.

The Victorian Government believes this will assist injured workers who have previously been discouraged to follow through with court proceedings due to their cost, time and complexity.

Victoria Minister for Workplace Safety Ingrid Stitt said the bill encouraged fairer outcomes that gave injured workers necessary support to return to work.

“We’re strengthening workers’ compensation laws and providing an additional low-cost way to resolve disputes so that all Victorians injured at work get the help and support they need to recover and return to their job,” Stitt said.

“This model will avoid complex and costly court proceedings, particularly for lower value disputes – providing a faster and more effective pathway to resolution, with less stress and impact on recovery.”

Under the new bill, the ACCS must commence a hearing within 30 days of the dispute being referred, with hearings generally being finalised within 60 days and a determination made within two weeks afterwards.

The Victorian Government stated this provided a four-month window to resolve cases, and continued its drive towards to improving dispute resolution processes in the state.

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend