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  • The University holds a self-insurance licence to manage their own workers compensation claims and they employ qualified staff as required by State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA). SIRA is the statutory body that governs the licence and the University must abide by the Workers Compensation legislation and guidelines issued by SIRA.

  • In 1987 the University made the decision to apply to become a Workers Compensation self-insurer, rather than purchase insurance. The switch was mainly for financial reasons and continues to be a cost-effective alternative to conventional insurance.

    Self-insurance also provides injured employees with direct access to experienced case management staff employed in the Workers Compensation department. Claims are managed efficiently with better return to work outcomes.

  • Medical expenses will only be payable if they relate to services that are considered to be reasonably necessary for your injury. In determining what is reasonably necessary medical services the following will be considered:

    • Appropriateness: The ability of the treatment to relieve the effects of the injury
    • Effectiveness: The degree to which the treatment will potentially alleviate the consequences of the injury
    • Cost benefit: There must be an expected positive benefit, given the cost involved, that should deliver the expected health outcomes for you
    • Alternatives: Other viable forms of treatment for the injury
    • Acceptance: The acceptance of the treatment among the medical profession: Example: Is it a conventional method of treatment and would medical practitioners generally prescribe it.

    Medical expenses will be payable in accordance with WorkCover NSW gazetted fees. If your treatment provider charges more than the gazetted fee, they are not able to ask you to pay the difference.

    The following treatments do not require prior approval:

    • All visits to the nominated treating doctor
    • 1st visit to treating specialist
    • Pharmacy items in the 1st 3 weeks up to $500 including up to $100 for items not on PBS
    • All x-rays requested in the 1st week after injury
    • public hospital visits in the 1st month after injury
    • The first 8 treatments of physiotherapy/chiropractic and osteopathy.
    • The 1st 6 treatments from a psychologist (must be SIRA approved & referred by NTD)
    • 5 sessions of remedial massage (must be SIRA approved)
  • All UNSW workplaces (including all floors and buildings occupied by UNSW staff) must display the ‘If you are injured at work poster’ to advise employees of the process to follow in the event of a work-related injury or illness.

  • Please note that you will require separate approval for any surgery, private hospitalisation or specialist scans. Failure to obtain approval prior to receiving treatment may leave you liable for the costs involved.

  • You should report your injury to your supervisor and Risk Advisory and Internal Audit within 48 hours of occurring.

    Complete the on-line reporting form through myUNSW Salus:

    1. Sign on to myUNSW
    2. Look for My Staff Profile Tab and select
    3. Find and click on the Salus symbol to Report/Manage OHS&E Issues
    4. Report a hazard / incident
      (Please note that the link times out after 20 minutes for data when entering your injury information)

    • Please report all injury particulars including a date of injury and clear description of the injury.
    • On completion of the on-line reporting form, copies will be sent to your Supervisor, Risk Advisory and Internal Audit, the Safety Committee Work Health and Safety.
    • The initial report of injury form is designed to facilitate the early notification of an incident or injury. An experienced Workers Compensation Officer will collect all the information required to lodge the claim after receipt of the initial report of injury. The claim will be assessed according to injury type and severity.
  • Workers Compensation legislative reforms were introduced on the 19 June 2012 in relation to journey claims. The reforms mean that many journey claims that were previously covered, will no longer be covered. The exception is when there is a 'real and substantial' connection between the journey and your employment.  

    Meaning “a real and substantial” connection between the employment concerned and the accident or incident, suggesting that some-work element must be present for any injury occurring to or from a worker’s place of abode to be compensable. For example, you stop on the way to work to collect some documents and are injured.

    The appropriate claim form can be obtained from the Making a Claim section of this website by clicking the link below. The form is the Other Work Injuries Claim Form and is the second form available on this page.

    Other Work Injuries Claim Form

  • Click the Icon to Go to the Workers Compensation Injury Management Process.

  • Emma Butler
    Claims and Self Insurance Manager

    Emily Boulton Smith
    Return to Work Co-Ordinator

    Ida Bothma
    Claims officer / Case Manager

    Suzanna Holmes
    Manager WHS & Facilities, UNSW Canberra

    Phone: +61 (2) 6268 8713
    Fax: +61 (2) 6268 6087
    Email: s.holmes@adfa.edu.au

  • WorkCover Reforms 2012

    Provisional liability and claim liability allows for prompt payment of limited benefits that will help with your recovery from injury and your return to work. Provisional liability does not constitute an admission of liability under the Workplace Injury Management & Workers Compensation Act and is determined within 7 days of notification of an injury. Provisional weekly compensation benefits are payable for a maximum of 12 weeks only. Claim liability is determined within 21 days of lodgement.

  • Claims for doctors' costs or treatment providers can be paid directly to the providers once a claim has been accepted by providing the workers compensation section the original invoices or receipts. Through completion of the workers compensation re-imbursement of expenses claim form injured employees can receive direct EFT re-imbursement of any out of pocket expenses. Payments to injured employees are to be made within 14 days of receipt and 30 days to treatment providers once received by the works compensation unit.


UNSW workers compensation team

Dale Jones
Manager, Safety and Injury Management

Suzanna Holmes
Manager WHS & Facilities, UNSW Canberra

Phone: +61 (2) 6268 8713
Fax: +61 (2) 6268 6087
Email: s.holmes@adfa.edu.au

Emma Butler
Claims and Self Insurance Manager

Emily Boulton Smith
Return to Work Co-Ordinator

Ida Bothma
Claims officer / Case Manager

WorkCover news

Overview of the Legislation Reforms 2012

Major workers compensation legislation changes have commenced 17 June 2012 with effective significant workers compensation weekly benefit changes payable to all employees from 1 October 2012. With the introduction of the new legislation there are significant changes to injured employees who are fully and partially incapacitated.
Existing workers compensation claims have a transitional period effective 1 January 2012 for 12 months.
1 October 2012 has the most significant changes and impact on employers: with the introduction of work capacity assessments, giving the employers and employees a better understanding of a workers capacity to work.
Weekly payments are linked to return to work, with more benefits during the first 13 weeks (when 80% of injured workers return to work) and thereafter if the employee works for at least 15 hrs per week.
If an injured worker is assessed as having some capacity to work, an employer must (as far as reasonably practicable) find suitable employment for them. Under the reforms, employers are subject to improvement notices and fines if they do not follow through with this commitment. A 3 month grace period will apply.
Prior to these legislation changes, the University had paid their injured employees 100% of their pre-injury rate of pay for the 1st 26 weeks following a work related injury. After 26 weeks, a statutory rate was applied, and for a single person gross per week the amount was $432.50.
Calculations of weekly benefits are now much more difficult and stringent. It can involve ordinary wages and salary, being an average weekly earnings over 12 months including overtime and shift allowances and possibly deducting amounts for non-pecuniary benefits, i.e. use of a motor vehicle, salary sacrificing depending upon where the injured is at on their weekly benefits entitlement.
After discussion with management it has been decided that the University will continue paying injured employees 100% of their salary for the first 13 weeks as this shows goodwill to our injured employees, does not disrupt payroll and 80% of all injured employees generally return to work within this period of the first 13 weeks.  
After this period of 13 weeks of incapacity and if the injured employee is not returning to work, then the University will be reducing the weekly benefits as per the entitlement; period below:
Under the legislation and effective from 1 October 2012 the attached table represents the weekly benefits now payable.

With the changes to legislation the WorkCover certificate has been changed to be called a certificate of capacity and is now 3 pages long. This now focuses on the capacity of the work that the injured employee can perform, rather than what work they cannot do.
No longer is it required that an injured employee be required to wait for approval by Workers Compensation for: initial x-rays, initial physiotherapy, initial specialist appointment, and public hospital.
Journey injuries to and from work have been abolished and only payable for injuries if there is a 'real and substantial connection to employment. A journey while you are already at work continues to be covered. E.g. attending a meeting at Clifton Campus and you have a motor vehicle accident driving there.
If the motor vehicle injury is on the way to or from work and is not the fault of the University employee, they can make a claim with the Motor Accidents Authority directly.
The permanent impairment threshold for claiming for whole person impairment has now been lifted to 10%. If an injured employee makes a claim for an amount lower then this will be disputed. Also only one claim can now be lodged for an injury in total. Effective date: 19 June 2012.
No compensation for heart attack or stroke & nervous shock unless nature of employment results in greater risk: Effective date 19 June 2012.
Legal costs cannot be claimed by injured employees anymore.
Work capacity assessments must be made for existing recipients of weekly benefits within 12 months after the commencement of the amendments. These assessments give the claims staff the power to have injured employees examined for determining their capacity to work, upgrades and advice on medical management.
If employees disagree with our decision on work capacity assessments, then they must write to us advising why and the matter may be referred to a WorkCover Review Officer.
Medical expenses can now be limited to 12 months from the date of a claim or when the claim was lodged.


At UNSW Workers Compensation Section we aim to provide the best possible service to our injured employees, following the governing legislation. Disputes are not an everyday occurrence within the University. Sometimes though, conflicts do occur and when this happens, our objective is to resolve any disagreement as amicably and as quickly as possible. We believe that the best way to achieve this is to provide you with the opportunity for an unbiased review of the issue.

Regardless of whether the dispute involves our staff, Health Providers, Investigators or Independent Medical Examiners, in the event that you wish to make a complaint simply contact us and ask to speak to the Manager of the team. Within the organisation we have established a dispute resolution process through which the Manager will review with an independent decision making authority to review the matter for you.

The Manager will write to you within 15 working days advising the outcome of the review and reasons for their decision.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of this process and your dispute concerns a claim, you will have an option to contact SIRA, or take the matter further with the necessary authorities.

For General Workers Compensation complaints:

Emma Butler

Claims Manager, Safety and Injury Management

Level 1, Room 119 Chancellery Building

M: 0413 575 213

E: emma.butler@unsw.edu.au