Conciliation

    What is conciliation?

    Our conciliation service is informal and free. If you're an injured worker it gives you the opportunity to come together with:

    • the WorkCover insurer (WorkSafe Agent) or Self-insurer (if the employer insures themselves);
    • your employer; and
    • any representatives for those involved in the dispute.

    Conciliation is an essential step before you're able to take your dispute to arbitration, or to court. It is an opportunity for you, and others involved in the dispute to be heard.

    You can find more detailed information about conciliation in our fact sheets on the resources page which covers everything from when to apply, what to expect at a conference and more.

    Can I apply for conciliation?

    You can apply for conciliation by sending us a completed Application for Conciliation form if:

    • you disagree with a decision you’ve received from a WorkSafe Agent or Self-insurer on your workplace injury compensation claim; or
    • a WorkSafe Agent or Self-insurer has not responded to a request or has not made a payment on your claim, within a reasonable time.

    You should send us your Application for Conciliation form within 60 days of receiving a WorkSafe Agent or Self-insurer’s decision about your claim. Late applications can be considered, but you’ll need to provide a reason why,

    You can also apply for further conciliation of a dismissed dispute if you have received a Certificate of Dismissal from us, by completing the Application for Further Conciliation form.

    If you need help applying for conciliation, you can ask someone to do this on your behalf. They’ll need to put their details on the bottom of the Application for Conciliation form and confirm that you’re happy for them to help you.

    Learn more about applying for conciliation here.

    What do I need to get started?

    You should provide the completed Application for Conciliation form, and at least one of the following documents about your dispute:

    • Decision made by the WorkSafe Agent or Self-insurer
    • Request for treatment if the WorkSafe Agent or Self-insurer has failed to respond
    • WorkCover medical certificates if the WorkSafe Agent or Self-insurer has failed to pay weekly payments
    • Invoice/receipts if the WorkSafe Agent or Self-insurer has failed to pay for medical treatment

    Who can help me?

    We want to make sure you have all the help you need. There are several organisations that provide free assistance. A full list is available here.

    Representation or assistance

    You can have your own assistant or representative to help you through the conciliation process including:

    • Union Assist (current and former union members may be eligible);
    • WorkCover Assist;
    • Other Union or support services; or
    • Your own lawyer.

    These services may be able to help you apply for conciliation, prepare for the conference (including what information you need to provide) and communicate with us and the others involved in the dispute on your behalf.

    An assistant or representative can also attend the conciliation conference with you, but if you want your lawyer to attend, they’ll need to get our permission.

    • Contact us

      You can contact us by email or phone.
    • Interpreter

      Speak to us with the help of an interpreter from the Translator and Interpreter Service (TIS National). Using an interpreter is free.
    • Support person

      We know how important a support person can be during a conciliation conference. You can bring a friend or family member to support you, but they can only speak on your behalf if the Conciliation Officer is ok with this.

    The stages of conciliation

    • Application

      The conciliation process starts when you send an Application for Conciliation form to us.
    • Pre-conference

      Once your application is accepted, we'll ask you and others involved in the dispute to provide more information. This will be exchanged between those involved in dispute, except your employer.
    • Conference

      A conciliation conference is a meeting where a Conciliation Officer will help you and those involved in the dispute try to resolve it. It’s an opportunity for everyone to be heard.
    • Outcome

      There are several potential outcomes of conciliation, depending on the dispute and the people involved. If you haven’t been able to reach a resolution at a conference, you may be able to go to arbitration or Court.

    What are the potential outcomes?

    Conciliation may lead to one of the following:

    • an agreement being made between you and the WorkSafe Agent or Self-insurer;
    • a Conciliation Officer making a recommendation to resolve the dispute;
    • a Conciliation Officer referring a medical question to a Medical Panel for a binding opinion which means it is final and must be accepted by those involved in the dispute;
    • a Conciliation Officer directing a WorkSafe Agent or Self-insurer to make payments;
    • the dispute being dismissed by the Conciliation Officer which ends the conciliation process. You can also apply for further conciliation of a dismissed dispute; or
    • if a dispute isn’t resolved, a Genuine Dispute Certificate may be issued, which means you may decide to take the dispute to arbitration or Court.

    For Employers

    Your role as an employer in conciliation depends on whether you have a WorkSafe Agent managing the workplace injury compensation claim or if you are a Self-insurer managing the claim yourself.

    • If you’re an employer with a WorkSafe Agent

      If you have a WorkSafe Agent, they will handle the dispute at conciliation. You’re encouraged to take part in the conciliation process. This includes attending the conference and providing information relevant to the dispute if it’s requested.
      We recommend you get in touch with your WorkSafe Agent to talk about the dispute and your involvement in the conciliation process, including any assistance you may require.
    • If you’re an employer who is a Self-insurer

      If you’re a Self-insurer, you’ll handle the conciliation dispute yourself. You’ll need to provide documents, information and be prepared to discuss the dispute and how it can be resolved.
    • Contact

      You can contact us by email or phone.