e-Bulletin No. 66 - June 2016
Welcome to e-Bulletin No. 66 of the Workers Compensation Commission.
This bulletin outlines:
- Arbitrator recruitment
- Electronic service of Commission documents
- Level 21 Oxford Street refurbishment
- Late replies
- Annual Review 2015
The Commission will be undertaking recruitment action to fill Senior Arbitrator and Arbitrator (both in-house and sessional) positions. Advertisements will appear in the Sydney press from 2 July 2016 and in major regional newspapers in the following week. The closing date for applications will be 17 July 2016.
Information kits will be available on the Commission’s website from 2 July 2016.
Electronic service of Commission documents
As announced in e-Bulletin No. 65, the Commission is now issuing all Certificates of Determination (CODs) and Medical Assessment Certificates (MACs) electronically, to the email address of the legal representative stated on the Application or Reply. In addition, all Presidential decisions, orders and directions, and Medical Appeal Panel decisions are now issued electronically to the email address of the legal representative stated on the Appeal Application or Notice of Opposition.
Where a document is issued electronically, no hard copies will be issued by DX or post, except where an email address is not provided.
Practitioners should ensure that email addresses are appropriately monitored as the Commission will not re-issue CODs and MACs if an “out of office” or “on leave” reply email message is received.
The move to electronic service will ensure that all legal representatives receive decisions at the same time.
Level 21 Oxford Street refurbishment
Following a review of the Commission’s facilities at Level 21, Oxford Street Darlinghurst, a major refurbishment project will be undertaken in 2016/2017.
The refurbishment includes improvements to security, sound recording, room display equipment and acoustic privacy. The proposal also incorporates the technology required to conduct online hearings.
At this stage, construction work is expected to commence in early January 2017, with a staged construction period due for completion in late May 2017.
The Workers Compensation Commission Rules 2011 require that a respondent in any proceedings must, within 21 days from the date of registration of an Application to Resolve a Dispute, lodge a Reply to the application and include all relevant information and documents proposed to be relied on.
In the event that a Reply is not lodged within 21 days of registration of the application, a respondent may seek to apply to lodge the Reply and supporting documents out of time by way of an Application to Admit Late Documents.
If it is proposed to apply to lodge a late Reply prior to a teleconference, Rule 10.3(3) of the 2011 Rules provides that the Application to Admit Late Documents must be lodged no later than 5 working days prior to the teleconference. Late Replies lodged within five days of the teleconference have been rejected by the Registry.
In response to feedback from the legal profession, the Registry will no longer reject an Application to Admit Late Documents where the application seeks to admit a late Reply. Instead, the Application to Admit Late Documents will be retained by the Registry, and referred to the Arbitrator prior to the teleconference whenever possible. It will remain for the Arbitrator to consider whether or not to admit the late document(s).
This procedural change applies to late Replies only and not to other late documents that a party seeks to lodge within 5 days of a teleconference.
Practitioners are reminded that the late filing of documents can hinder the prospects of early resolution of disputes and parties are encouraged to ensure that all documents are filed as required by the timetable issued on registration of an application.
Annual Review 2015
The 2015 Annual Review is available on the Commission’s website and can be accessed by using the following link:
The Annual Review provides extensive information regarding the Commission’s performance during the 2015 calendar year.
Judge Greg Keating