The following frequently asked questions may assist you with your conciliation or arbitration queries.

The vast majority of workers’ compensation claims progress to the satisfaction of all parties involved. Disputes can occur at any stage of a claim and arise over a broad range of matters, including the liability to pay compensation, the amount of weekly benefit to be paid, medical and related expenses, and return to work programs.

If you require assistance to resolve a dispute/s, you may apply to the Workers’ Compensation Conciliation Service.

Resolving a dispute can be an involved process. There are forms and applications to be completed, documents to be gathered and registered, and sometimes conferences and hearings to be held. There are strict timeframes involved and parties are encouraged to resolve the dispute at any stage.

It is in the interest of all parties to make sure they have exhausted all other opportunities to resolve matters, before contacting the Workers’ Compensation Conciliation Service.

Any person or party to a workers’ compensation claim in Western Australia can lodge an application to the Workers’ Compensation Conciliation Service. This includes injured workers and employers. The person lodging the application is known as the ‘Applicant’.
Injured workers must have first submitted a worker’s compensation claim and First Certificate of Capacity with their employer before an application with the Workers’ Compensation Conciliation Service can be lodged.

Reasonable attempts to resolve the dispute by informal negotiation between the parties must have been made before lodging an application.

Strict timelines and limited opportunities exist to present a case so proper preparation is essential.

An application for conciliation can be lodged online.

A print version of the Application for Conciliation (Form 100) is available to download from the Conciliation rules and forms page. You can lodge your application:

  • in person at WorkCover WA, 2 Bedbrook Place, Shenton Park, WA, 6008
  • by fax, (08) 9388 5690 (more than 20 pages cannot be faxed)
  • by post to Workers’ Compensation Conciliation Service, WorkCover WA, 2 Bedbrook Place, Shenton Park, WA, 6008
  • online

If you need assistance completing the form, contact Advice and Assistance on 1300 794 744. For more information on the conciliation process, see the Workers’ Compensation Conciliation Service section.

You may only lodge an application for arbitration after receiving the appropriate certificate from the Workers’ Compensation Conciliation Service.

The Application for Arbitration (Form 150) is available from the Arbitration rules and forms page.

Lodging your application

You can lodge your Application:

  • in person at WorkCover WA, 2 Bedbrook Place, Shenton Park, WA, 6008
  • by fax, (08) 9388 5690 (more than 20 pages cannot be faxed)
  • by post to Workers’ Compensation Arbitration Service, WorkCover WA, 2 Bedbrook Place, Shenton Park, WA, 6008

If you need assistance completing the form, contact WorkCover WA’s Advice and Assistance on 1300 794 744. For more information on the arbitration process, see the Workers’ Compensation Arbitration Services section.

A party who has been served with an application for arbitration is required to lodge a reply. This person is known as the respondent. A reply must be lodged within 14 days of being served with the application.

The Reply to Application for Arbitration (Form 154) is available from the Arbitration rules and forms page.

Lodging your reply

You can lodge your Reply:

  • in person at WorkCover WA, 2 Bedbrook Place, Shenton Park, WA, 6008
  • by fax, (08) 9388 5690 (more than 20 pages cannot be faxed)
  • by post to Workers’ Compensation Arbitration Service, WorkCover WA, 2 Bedbrook Place, Shenton Park, WA, 6008

If you need assistance completing the form, contact WorkCover WA’s Advice and Assistance on 1300 794 744. For more information on the arbitration process, see the Workers’ Compensation Arbitration Service section.

Before you lodge an application with the Workers’ Compensation Conciliation Service, you must have made reasonable attempts to resolve the dispute by negotiation with the other party. For advice on how you might resolve the dispute before making a formal application, phone Advice and Assistance on 1300 794 744.

If the dispute is not resolved, you can make an application to the Workers’ Compensation Conciliation Service. If there are matters remaining in dispute at the conclusion of conciliation, an application can be made to Workers’ Compensation Arbitration Service.

View the conciliation and arbitration process chart.
There are no fees for making an Application to the Workers’ Compensation Conciliation Service or Workers’ Compensation Arbitration Service, however, parties can choose to have legal representation by way of a legal practitioner or registered agent. If you are represented you may incur costs associated with engaging your representative.
The time it takes to resolve a dispute through conciliation or arbitration depends upon the complexity of the matter(s) in dispute and the proper preparation of materials by the parties. Strict timelines must be adhered to. For example:

  • The conciliation process generally takes no longer than eight weeks.
  • If needed, a conciliation conference is usually scheduled within 21 days from the date the Workers’ Compensation Conciliation Service accepts a Form 100 – Application for Conciliation  (PDF – 455kb)
  • Form 150 – Application for Arbitration  (PDF – 483kb) must be lodged within 28 days from the date the appropriate certificate has been issued by the Workers’ Compensation Conciliation Service.
  • Respondents to arbitration must complete a Form 154 – Reply to an Application for Arbitration  (PDF – 416kb) within 14 days of being served with the Application for Arbitration.
  • Parties to arbitration must make any appeals to the District Court of Western Australia within 28 days from when an arbitrator provides written reasons for the arbitration decision.
Parties to a dispute may need to contact their medical practitioner for medical advice and reports to support their case.

An injured worker may be referred to a medical assessment panel by the conciliation officer or arbitrator. This can occur when there is a conflict of medical opinion about the nature or extent of an injury or a worker’s capacity for work between a doctor engaged by the worker and a doctor engaged and paid for by the employer, and one of the parties wishes the proceedings to continue.

Three medical practitioners are chosen by the Director, Conciliation from a list provided by the Australian Medical Association, Western Australia to make up the panel. At least one medical practitioner will be a specialist in the relevant field. Medical practitioners who have treated or examined the worker are not eligible to sit on the panel.

The panel may examine the worker, request documents from the worker or require the worker to answer questions. No person can be represented before the panel because only medical questions will be determined (not questions of law). A worker who does not attend a panel when required to do so, or who obstructs the panel, may have their right to further compensation suspended.

The panel must make its determination within 28 days of the examination. Within a further seven days, the panel must provide written reasons for its decision. The determination of the panel is final and binding on all parties and on any court or tribunal.

Parties to a dispute are entitled to have a legal practitioner or registered agent represent them at conciliation and arbitration, but this is not compulsory. Employers and insurers often have representation.

If you are represented you may incur costs associated with engaging your representative. The maximum allowable hourly rates which can be charged by legal practitioners and registered agents before a WorkCover WA dispute resolution authority are set by legislation. Please see the Worker’s Compensation (Legal Practitioners and Registered Agents) Costs Determination which provides a costs scale structured to promote the early settlement of disputes by agreement.

If you need legal advice about a workers’ compensation dispute, you may wish to contact the Law Society of WA on (08) 9324 8600.

Work safety issues

For general work safety and health issues, contact the WorkSafe Infoline on 1300 307 877.

Translation and interpretation services

Interpreter services, paid for by WorkCover WA, can be made available for proceedings subject to prior notice. Call WorkCover WA on 1300 794 744 to arrange.

People with disabilities

Information is available in alternative formats, including an audio loop which is available on 48 hours notice for the hearing impaired. Call WorkCover WA on 1300 794 744 to arrange.

Advice about workers’ compensation

For general queries about workers’ compensation and injury management system in Western Australia, or for help completing conciliation and arbitration forms, phone WorkCover WA’s Advice and Assistance on 1300 794 744.

The Advice and Assistance team can help parties to understand their obligations under the law and the options available to them to resolve a dispute. However, Advice and Assistance staff cannot provide legal advice in relation to a specific dispute.