ACCS consultation welcome to better assist injured Victorian workers
18th Oct 2019
Consultation to improve processes for injured workers, including through the Accident Compensation Conciliation Service (ACCS), has been welcomed by the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) in Victoria.
In a letter sent to the Attorney-General this week, ALA Victorian President Jeremy King said the Association was looking forward to consulting with Government on a range of important issues to benefit injured workers, saying a number of key changes are needed and the opportunity to consult is welcome.
“The consultation recently announced by the Andrews Government to look at ways to improve the processes of the ACCS is very welcome, and we look forward to participating in this,” Mr King said.
“As part of this consultation, however, the ALA will also be raising a number of other issues that we believe require more urgent attention to improve outcomes for injured workers, including most importantly the need for provisional weekly payments.
“At the moment this is a significant gap in the Victorian system. Even the NSW workers’ compensation scheme – widely regarded as one of the worst in the country for injured workers – has provisional weekly payments in place.
“We would also like to see an extension of the weekly payments entitlement period for injured workers and a reduction in the psychiatric injury threshold for impairment benefit claims. The current threshold is widely regarded as being unfair and unreasonable for those with psychiatric illnesses seeking redress.
“Like many stakeholders, the ALA supports the view that change is also needed at the ACCS to improve the process for injured workers.
“Matters need to be moving through this service in a much more timely and efficient way, and there are a number of reasons why the processing of matters through the ACCS is currently difficult that will need to be looked at closely.
“It is crucial to ensure that the response to these problems does genuinely improve the conciliation process, and equally that this is done in a way that won’t reduce the rights of injured workers or limit their ability to access justice in the closure of their matter,” he said.