The role of the Commission
The Workers Compensation Commission resolves workers compensation disputes between workers, employers and insurers across New South Wales.
The Commission is an independent statutory tribunal within the state’s justice system, committed to providing a transparent and independent dispute resolution service.
Resolving disputes in the shortest time frame is a priority for the Commission. We work with all parties (workers, employers and insurers) throughout the process, to discuss ways of resolving a dispute.
The Commission members and partners are:
The President and deputy presidents are the Commission’s presidential members.
Judge Gerard Phillips is the President of the Commission. Judge Phillips works closely with the Registrar to provide strategic leadership to the Commission. He is also responsible for appointing approved medical specialists and mediators, and for determining novel or complex questions of law, issuing practice directions and other administrative and legal tasks.
The deputy presidents are Mr Michael Snell and Ms Elizabeth Wood. Mr Larry King SC and Mr Geoff Parker SC are acting deputy presidents.
All presidential members hear appeals against decisions made by arbitrators.
Rod Parsons is the Registrar of the Commission. The Registrar manages the operations of the Commission and provides high-level executive leadership to the Commission’s staff, arbitrators, mediators and approved medical specialists.
The Registrar also provides strategic advice to the President on the Commission’s operations.
The Registrar can perform the functions of an arbitrator and makes decisions about certain disputes, including whether a medical appeal can proceed.
Arbitrators are independent decision makers who are appointed by the Commission to help resolve disputes. They have a detailed understanding of the workers compensation system and the interests of all those involved.
Arbitrators are experienced lawyers who conduct Commission proceedings in a way that is fair to all parties. At each stage of the process, the arbitrator will encourage and assist parties to resolve their dispute by finding a solution that is mutually agreeable to everyone involved. If the parties cannot agree on a resolution, the arbitrator will decide the dispute.
Arbitrators also sit on medical appeal panels which determine appeals against assessments by approved medical specialists.
The Commission’s mediators assist parties to resolve work injury damages disputes. The parties must participate in mediation before the worker can commence court proceedings.
Mediations can be conducted in Sydney or in a regional location, if required. During the mediation, the mediator attempts to bring the parties to agreement. If the parties are not able to agree, the worker may then commence court proceedings.
Approved medical specialists are highly experienced medical practitioners who are qualified in a range of medical specialities. They conduct medical assessments, mostly to assess the degree of permanent impairment resulting from work-related injuries. They can also provide non-binding opinions about a worker’s medical condition, the need for medical treatment, and fitness for employment.
Approved medical specialists provide an independent assessment to the Commission. They do not to give advice or recommend treatment for the worker.
Approved medical specialists are engaged directly by the Commission and are independent of workers, employers and insurers.
Approved medical specialists also sit on medical appeal panels.
You can find the list of approved medical specialists here.
The Workers Compensation Commission is committed to finding the best people to deliver excellence in workers compensation dispute resolution services for the people of New South Wales.
Working at the Commission is a unique opportunity to have a real impact, at a time when people may be experiencing difficult circumstances. We provide interesting work opportunities in an innovative organisation that values diversity, inclusion, and fairness.
The Commission advertises employment opportunities on the I work for NSW website. Appointments as arbitrators, mediators and approved medical specialists are advertised on the Commission’s web site and in our e-bulletin.
The Commission cannot warrant and does not represent that the material which appears on our website or any linked sites is complete, current, reliable or free from error.
The Workers Compensation Commission also cannot accept any responsibility or liability for any loss, damage, cost or expense that might be incurred as a result of the use of, or reliance upon, the materials which appear on this or any linked sites on our website.
For information relating to the Commission's policies on privacy, access to information and copyright, click on the relevant section below.
This privacy statement applies to all generally accessible pages on the Workers Compensation Commission website.
The Commission does not have responsibility for the privacy policies or practices of third party sites linked to this site. If you have any questions about the Commission’s website, the application of this web-related privacy statement or a request for access to information collected through this website, please contact us.
Users of this site are entitled to expect that any information collected as a result of that use will be treated within the terms of the NSW Government's privacy responsibilities and obligations. The NSW Government's privacy practices are regulated by the New South Wales Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998.
What information do we collect?
When you look at the pages on this website, our network automatically records information that identifies, for each page accessed:
- the IP (Internet Protocol) of the machine which has accessed it
- the address of your server
- the date and time of your visit to the site
- the pages accessed and documents downloaded
- the type of browser and operating system you have used.
'Cookies' are small pieces of text data that a web server can store on, and later retrieve from, a user's computer. They do not personally identify you, but do identify your browser. Cookies can be either 'persistent' or 'session' based. Persistent cookies are stored on your computer, contain an expiration date, and may be used to track your browsing behaviour upon return to the issuing website. Session cookies are short-lived, are used only during a browsing session, and expire when you shut down your browser.
This site uses both persistent and session cookies.
They record your preferences in relation to your use of the site and provide us with other information about your enquiry that allows us to recognise your browser if you return to this website in the future. This allows the Commission to present information that may be most relevant to you based on your previous visits. They also help the Commission to understand what parts of the site users find the most useful and improve the effectiveness of the website.
The cookies on this site do not read the information on your hard drive. They do not make your computer perform any actions or make your computer send information to any other computer via the internet.
How do we use the information collected?
The information collected during each visit is aggregated with similar logged information and published in reports in order for the Commission to identify patterns of usage on the site. This assists us improve the website and the information and services offered on it.
The Commission will not disclose or publish information that identifies individual computers or potentially identifies sub-groupings of addresses, without consent or otherwise in accordance with the New South Wales Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998.
What exceptions are there to this rule?
The Commission will collect, use and disclose more extensive information than stated above in the following circumstances:
- unauthorised attempts to access files which are not published on the Commission’s website pages
- unauthorised tampering or interference with files published on the site
- unauthorised attempts to index the contents of the site by other sites
- attempts to intercept messages of other users of the site
- communications which are defamatory, abusive, vilify individuals or groups or which give rise to a suspicion that an offence is being committed
- attempts to otherwise compromise the security of the web server, breach the laws of the State of New South Wales or Commonwealth of Australia, or interfere with the enjoyment of the site by other users.
The Commission reserves the right to make disclosures to relevant internal and external authorities where the use of this site raises a suspicion that an offence is being, or has been, committed.
In the event of an investigation, the Commission will provide access to data to any law enforcement agency that may execute a warrant to inspect our logs.
Information collected on the Commission’s site is stored in an appropriately secure format and held for archival purposes. The information is deleted when no longer required for the purposes it is collected.
Information provided as feedback
The Commission provides feedback facilities on this site to allow users to provide input into the future development of the site, comment on the provision of service and update information about them on the site.
Users provide personal details as part of their feedback. This information will only be used for the purpose for which it was provided. We may publish aggregated information about feedback on the site, to the extent that it does not identify or cannot be used to identify individual users.
Who else has access to information collected?
Corporate Affairs and Business Technology Services in the NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation captures this information on its own computers and through the use of third-party analytical software such as Google Analytics and Hotjar. Access to the raw data is restricted to a limited number of staff and Squiz Australia (our Host). Access to any personal information or documentation collected as a result of online lodgment or update (including a respondent update) of a dispute application, will be restricted to the Workers Compensation Commission and the parties involved in the dispute.
Privacy statement updates
Due to the developing nature of privacy principles for online communication, this statement may be modified or expanded in light of new developments or issues that may arise from time to time. The amended statement will be posted to this site and will operate from the time it is posted.
This section outlines the kinds of information held by the Workers Compensation Commission and the types of access that may be available to the information.
Types of information held by the Commission
The Commission collects information to register applications and make decisions about workers compensation disputes. This includes personal information, health information and other information provided by the parties and their legal representatives in Commission proceedings including, but not limited to:
- workers compensation claim forms
- medical and investigative reports
- injury management plans, clinical notes and medical certificates
- witness statements
- notices issued under workers compensation legislation
- complying agreements
- wage information and payslips.
The Commission also holds information relating to its decisions, proceedings services and administration.
Protecting personal and health information
The Commission has obligations under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (PPIPA) and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (HRIPA) to protect the privacy rights of customers, service providers, staff and members of the public. The Commission takes these responsibilities seriously.
PPIPA and HRIPA contain principles about managing personal and health information which we must comply with. These principles are legal obligations that describe what we must do when we collect, store, use or disclose personal and health information to ensure safeguards are in place to protect personal and health information from loss, unauthorised access, use, modification or disclosure, and against all other misuse. The Commission complies with these obligations.
While anyone can seek access to government information that is held by us under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009, there are certain considerations that are taken into account before any information is released. We are unlikely to disclose the personal or health information of another person.
Information that is publicly available
The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) requires the Commission to make certain information, known as ‘open access information’, publicly available. The Commission holds the following types of open access information which is publicly available, free of charge, on the Commission’s website:
- this information guide
- policy documents.
The GIPA Act also authorises the proactive release of information unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure of the information. Accordingly, the Commission has made the following information publicly available, free of charge, on its website:
- practice directions and guidelines
- forms, guides and codes of conduct
- annual reviews
- papers and presentations
- bulletins and brochures.
How to access the Commission’s information
If the information you seek is not available on the Commission’s website, the GIPA Act provides for two forms of release of government information: informal release and formal access application.
An informal request can be made to the Commission for the release of certain information without the need for a formal application. The Commission is not obliged to consider an informal request for information, but may do so if possible.
Much of the information that is held by the Commission, other than the publicly available information referred to above, relates to the personal information of individuals and is likely to be exempt from disclosure under the GIPA Act. However, a formal access application may be made. To make a formal application, use the formal access application form.
Applicants can also contact the Commission’s Right to Information Officer on 1300 368 040 or write to:
Right to Information Officer
Workers Compensation Commission
PO Box 594
Darlinghurst NSW 1300
For further information on the GIPA Act, applicants can contact the Information and Privacy Commission NSW by telephone on 1800 472 679.
Copyright in the material which appears on the Workers Compensation Commission website (including text, photographs or artwork) vests, subject to the Copyright Act 1968, in the author of the material whether that be the site content provider or some other person or organisation.
Material published on the Workers Compensation Commission website cannot be reproduced without written permission.