On Friday, 13 September 2019, the NSW Government published the Workers Compensation Amendment (Pre-injury Average Weekly Earnings) Regulation 2019. The Regulation changes the way an injured worker’s PIAWE is calculated. These changes come into effect on Monday, 21 October 2019 and will apply to workers injured on or after that date.
When a worker has a work-related injury, and they’re unable to perform their full pre-injury duties, they may be paid a percentage of their pre-injury average weekly earnings (known as PIAWE) for a set period. Agents (scheme agents, service providers, authorised providers and claims managers) are responsible for ensuring that those payments are accurate.
Simplifying the way PIAWE is calculated
The PIAWE reforms aim to simplify the way in which an injured worker’s PIAWE is calculated, making it easier for workers and employers to understand and for agents to apply. The new method is intended to:
- be transparent and applicable to a wide range of working arrangements,
- save time and allow workers, employers and agents to focus on return to work, and improve outcomes for workers,
- enable employers and workers to agree on a PIAWE amount, as an alternative pathway to the agent making a work capacity decision, and
- reduce PIAWE-related disputes.
The PIAWE changes are part of broader legislative reforms under the Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2018. These reforms include changes to the dispute resolution process, pathways for complaints and unresolved enquiries (effective 1 January 2019), and the removal of the 52-week step down for shift and overtime allowances in the PIAWE calculations of workers who sustained an injury on or after 26 October 2018.
Changing the way people think about insurance and care
At icare, we hold ourselves accountable for the implementation of the dispute resolution legislative amendments, regulation and guidelines within the schemes that we operate.
In August 2019, we began online and face-to-face training with staff and agents on the expected changes to PIAWE, and how to calculate and manage PIAWE in practice. In September 2019, the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) also announced that they would be scheduling PIAWE training.
To help implement legislative amendments, regulation and guidelines relating to the Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2018, icare will continue to consult with SIRA, and share information and resources (including fact sheets and a video) with agents, employers, brokers and injured workers through our website, newsletters, webinars, forums and ongoing training.
Note: PIAWE amendments do not apply to exempt categories of workers (for example police, firefighters and paramedics).
If you have a PIAWE-related enquiry or complaint, please contact your agent or icare in the first instance.
- Workers with unresolved enquiries/complaints about their agent/insurer can call WIRO on 13 94 76 or visit the WIRO website
- Workers with unresolved enquiries/complaints about their employer or agent/insurer can call SIRA on 13 10 50 or visit the SIRA website
- Employers and other stakeholders with unresolved enquiries/complaints can call SIRA on 13 10 50 or visit the SIRA website