The Independent Review Officer is an independent statutory office established under the Personal Injury Commission Act 2020. Simon Cohen is the current Independent Review Officer.
The Officer is supported by an expert team, the Independent Review Office (IRO). The statutory functions of the IRO include to:
- find solutions for persons injured at work or in motor vehicle accidents with complaints about their insurers.
- manage and administer the Independent Legal Assistance and Review Service (ILARS)
- conduct inquiries into matters arising in connection with the operation of the Personal Injury Commission Act 2020 and the workers’ compensation and motor vehicle accident legislation.
When was WIRO established?
The NSW Government first established the WorkCover Independent Review Office (WIRO) in 2012 as an important oversight mechanism across the workers’ compensation system. The WIRO is the predecessor of the IRO.
2015 legislative reforms
Our name changed to the Workers Compensation Independent Review Officer as a result of legislative changes effective on 1 September 2015.
2018 legislative reforms
These reforms meant:
- WIRO would deal with complaints and enquiries from all injured workers including, police officers, firefighters, paramedics and coal miners
- WIRO could meet legal costs for Approved Lawyers to advise and assist workers with work capacity decisions (not previously subject to review)
- WIRO procedural reviews were no longer available for work capacity decisions made on or after 1 January 2019
Transition from WIRO to IRO – Personal Injury Commission Act 2020
As a result of legislative changes effective 1 March 2021, the Independent Review Officer and the IRO were newly established.
In addition to existing WIRO responsibilities under workers’ compensation legislation, the IRO was provided with a new function to deal with complaints by persons injured in motor vehicle accidents about the actions or omissions of insurers.