7.4.3 Conciliation outcome

When the conciliation conference is finalised, the Conciliation Officer issues a Conciliation Outcome Certificate informing all parties of the outcome, which will be one of:

  • Agreement between the parties on how to resolve the dispute
  • Genuine dispute A genuine dispute is one in which the parties cannot reach an agreement but the conciliation officer considers the dispute is genuine., where the dispute relates to weekly payments. superannuation, interest or medical expenses, the parties cannot reach an agreement and the Conciliation Officer is satisfied that there is a genuine dispute. This gives the parties the right to take the dispute arbitration, if eligible, or court
  • Unresolved, where the dispute relates to rejection of liability for a claim for maims or impairment benefits and the parties cannot reach agreement
  • Recommendation, which the parties to the dispute may agree to accept
  • Dismissal, the Conciliation Officer dismisses the dispute. A party can apply for further conciliation of the dispute within 60 days of the dismissal.
  • Direction to the Agent/employer by a Conciliation Officer to make specified payments of weekly payments and/or medical and like expenses or to release certain information
  • if a direction has been given to make weekly payments, the Conciliation Officer can direct the Agent/employer to pay reasonable costs for medical and like services during the period specified in the weekly payments direction
  • if the dispute is or includes a dispute about liability for payment of medical and like services, a direction can be given to pay the reasonable costs of medical and like services up to $5,000.

The Agent is not admitting liability when they comply with a Recommendation or Direction from the Conciliation Service. The Agent or employer can act on the Recommendation or Direction of a Conciliation Officer without being concerned about exposure to payment for other periods or about expenses not covered by the recommendation or direction.

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Outcome Certificates

An Outcome Certificate sets out the terms on which the dispute was resolved and certifies that each party to the dispute is bound by the result.

The WIC Workcover Injury Commission Conciliation Outcome Certificates must be completed on an approved form and be provided to each party to the dispute. This may include the worker, employer, Agent or self-insurer.

The outcome certificate is admissible in court proceedings as evidence of:

  • the resolution of the dispute between the parties
  • the terms on which the dispute has been resolved.

If a worker demonstrates to the Agent that they have experienced a significant physiological or identifiable change to their injury or condition the Agent is to review the matter and make a determination taking into account the extent, cause and expected duration of the change irrespective of any previous WIC Outcome Certificate. Agents should consider referring such requests to the Clinical Panel for review.

Compliance with outcome

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The Agent must comply with the outcome in a timely manner. If a Conciliation Officer directs that weekly payments are payable, payments must start within seven calendar days after the direction.

Note: Unless revoked by a court, failure to comply with a direction is an offence under the legislation.

Inform legally qualified Agent staff

The Agent representatives who attended conciliation must inform legally qualified Agent staff of any direction made by the Conciliation Officer on the same day the direction is made.

If legally qualified Agent staff disagree with the direction they can apply to conciliation to have the direction reviewed.

Legally qualified Agent staff are to also refer the matter to the Policy & Practice Branch or the FOI Unit at WorkSafe. The direction will then be reviewed by the Policy & Practice Branch and where appropriate the Dispute Management Division or the FOI Unit.

Review by WorkSafe

The Business Planning & Development Division or FOI Unit, will review the direction and if appropriate apply to the Magistrates’ Court/County Court, to seek a revocation of the direction.

If a direction is revoked, the obligation to make payments of compensation or release information ceases.

Release of exempt information

If a direction to release some or all exempt information is given by a Conciliation Officer, release must be made in accordance with that direction within seven calendar days from the date the Agent receives the written direction unless an application to revoke the direction has been made.

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