Personal Injury Commission - one step closer

  • Newsletter Article
  • Published 17.08.2020

Key Takeaways

The Personal Injury Commission Act 2020 was passed by Parliament on 5 August 2020 and assented on 11 August 2020.

The Personal Injury Commission (PIC) will be a ‘one stop shop’ to simplify the management of workers compensation and motor vehicle accident disputes.

The PIC will replace the Workers Compensation Commission (WCC) effective 1 March 2021.

New Legislation

The PIC will consolidate personal injury disputes to be managed ‘justly, quickly, cost effectively and with as little formality as possible’. It is not intended to affect the underlying substantive personal injury legislation.

Under the new PIC, the Workers Compensation Division will be responsible for resolving workers compensation disputes and the Motor Accidents Division will resolve motor accident disputes. Each Division will have a Division Head, who will assist the PIC President and Deputy Presidents in the areas of practice and procedure.

A Rule Committee will be established to ensure the PIC’s rules are as flexible and informal as possible. The Committee is comprised not only of members of the PIC, but also representatives from SIRA, Unions NSW, government bodies (e.g. the NSW Business Chamber), specialised barristers, solicitors and medical professionals. 

Implications

Operatively, and as intended by the Act, there are no changes to the substantive workers compensation legislation. PIC has been designed to simplify the day-to-day process involved in claims for compensation for claimants, their representatives and insurers.

The Act includes provisions allowing for the abolition of the previous dispute resolution bodies to allow for the transition to the new PIC on 1 March 2021. All current office holders will retain their roles, with the WCC Registrar appointed as the new Division Head of the Workers Compensation Division.