Workers compensation procedures

Introduction

The following procedures outline the workers' compensation processes that operate in the University's New South Wales and Queensland localities.

NSW

Workers' Compensation Act 1987 
Workplace Injury Management and Workers' Compensation Act 1998 

QLD

Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003

Workers' compensation processes for Southern Cross University workplaces located in other States and Territories of Australia are covered by the appropriate state or territory legislation. Enquiries about the workers' compensation procedures that apply in these situations should be directed to the Manager, Workplace Health and Safety.

Definitions:

'Workers' compensation' is a system that provides financial benefits and other assistance to employees (and/or their dependants) who sustain an injury at their place of work.

'Injury' refers to:

  • Personal injury arising out of, or in the course of, employment;
  • A disease which is contracted by an employee in the course of their employment and to which their employment is a contributing factor;
  • The aggravation, acceleration, exacerbation or deterioration of any disease, where the employment was a contributing factor to the aggravation, acceleration, exacerbation or deterioration.

'Psychological injury' is an injury that results in a psychological or psychiatric disorder.

'Partial incapacity' refers to a person who is fit to complete some work in a Return to Work Plan but not all of their normal pre-injury duties for their usual pre-injury number of hours.

'Total incapacity' means that the employee is unable to perform any work.

'Injury management' is a co-ordinated and managed program that integrates all aspects of injury management including treatment, rehabilitation and retraining.

'Occupational rehabilitation' is a managed process aimed at maintaining injured or ill workers in, or returning them to, suitable employment. It involves early intervention by the employer with appropriate, adequate and timely services based on assessment of the injured worker's needs and capabilities.

Notification of incident/accident

An employee who is injured at work must notify their supervisor, and submit an incident and hazard report via the RiskWare portal, as soon as possible after the injury occurs.

The employee's supervisor must then log into RiskWare and complete the Action Plan for the submitted incident and hazard report indicating what can be done to prevent a recurrence of the incident/accident.

HR Services, or their representative, must notify the University's insurer of the incident/accident, within 48 hours for a significant injury or all other injuries.

The employee's supervisor will initially investigate the circumstances of the accident and take action to eliminate or control any hazards.

The Manager, Workplace Health and Safety investigates all significant incidents/accidents and recommends hazard controls to management if necessary.

All injuries are recorded in RiskWare system, which is maintained by WHS

Claims

An injured employee must provide to HR Services

  • An incident and hazard report (submitted online via RiskWare portal);
  • A Certificate of Capacity relating to the injury; and
  • Any supporting documentation such as statements from witnesses or medical reports.

The employee is required to advise HR Service team of all absences resulting from a workplace injury by emailing [email protected] in the first instance.

A copy of all documentation is placed on a Workers' personnel file and stored in a secure location within HR Services. Access to the file is restricted to HR staff only.

A claimant must co-operate fully with the insurer in respect of their claim. In particular, they must comply with any reasonable request by the insurer to provide information.

A Certificate of Capacity should state whether an injured employee's work was a substantial contributing factor to the personal injury or disease.

Certificate of Capacity and receipts for accounts for medical or other treatment, including chemist supplies relating to the injury, are to be submitted to HR Services upon receipt. The insurer may reimburse the injured employee for relevant expenses and pay the accounts received from treating doctors.

HR Services will forward all receipts, medical certificates etc to the insurer.

It is the responsibility of the injured worker to ensure their Certificate of Capacity is supplied to HR Services as soon as it becomes available.

The insurer will provide written confirmation to both the injured employee and the University of the outcome of the claim.

If an injured employee's claim is accepted and they have not ceased work as the result of an injury, the injured employee will be reimbursed by the insurer for any relevant and necessary costs associated with the claim.

Assessment of the claim

The insurer will assess the claim and make a decision on liability after the claim form and Certificate of Capacity are received.

Claim process NSW - Workers compensation claims - SIRA (nsw.gov.au)

Claim process QLD - WorkSafe.qld.gov.au

Payments

Once a workers' compensation claim is accepted for weekly payments, HR Services will process ‘"workers compensation leave" on behalf of an employee. Until a claim decision of acceptance is made, an employee who is unable to return to their normal work hours will need to access other leave arrangements during this time. HR Services can provide advice on leave options available.

For NSW - Payments information

For QLD - Payments information

Leave

All leave taken while provisional liability payments are made will be processed as Workers' Compensation Leave.

If the insurer denies liability after provisional payments have commenced, all subsequent leave after the date of denial will be processed in accordance with the University's existing leave provisions.

Superannuation

For more information on superannuation during a workers' compensation claim, please contact your superannuation fund or HR Services.

Rehabilitation and retraining

The University is required to provide an injury management program for injured employees. Further details can be found in the University's Injury Management and Rehabilitation Policy.