The NSW Government established the WorkCover Independent Review Office (WIRO) in 2012 as part of its reform of the NSW workers compensation system. WIRO helps participants in the workers compensation system with their rights and obligations set out in the Workers Compensation Act 1987. The Workers Compensation Regulation 2016 also applies to participants in the system.
As a result of further legislative changes effective on 1 September 2015, our name changed to the Workers Compensation Independent Review Office. We will still be known as WIRO.
Two Bills were introduced into Parliament on 5 August 2015 to bring about structural reform and enhanced benefits for injured workers and employers.
Some benefits for injured workers under the Workers Compensation Amendment Act 2015 have already commenced and others are expected to commence in mid 2016. The State Insurance and Care Governance Act 2015 enabling structural changes that abolished WorkCover and created the State Insurance Regulatory Authority, Insurance & Care NSW and SafeWork NSW is now law. Visit www.insurancereforms.nsw.gov.au for further information about the reforms.
WIRO has several statutory functions as set out in the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998.
- Resolve complaints made by workers about insurers (where possible).
- Review the procedures used by an insurer to assess work capacity decisions.
- Encourage the establishment of a dispute resolution process between employers and insurers.
- Undertake inquiries into the operation of the Workers Compensation Act.
- In addition, WIRO has the administrative responsibility of facilitating access to independent legal advice for injured workers through the provision of grants of funding for legal services to resolve disputes about entitlements.