Workers Compensation Essentials

WorkCover WA is the government agency responsible for overseeing the workers’ compensation and injury management scheme in Western Australia. This includes monitoring compliance with the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981, informing and educating workers, employers and others about workers’ compensation and injury management, and providing an independent dispute resolution system.

What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is financial compensation provided to workers who become injured during the course of their employment. Workers’ compensation can include:

  •  weekly payments to cover loss of earnings
  • medical and related expenses
  • lump sum payments in case of permanent impairment and/or permanent incapacity for work
  • workplace rehabilitation assistance.

Any worker who suffers a work-related injury requiring medical treatment or time off work is entitled to claim workers’ compensation.

Why do I need workers’ compensation insurance?

Workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory and protects your business from the financial cost of a workers’ compensation and common
law claim. If you don’t have workers’ compensation insurance, you can be fined $5,000 per workeryou employ while uninsured, plus you will need to pay any avoided premium.

Additionally, if an injured worker makes a claim while you are uninsured, you will be responsible for all costs associated with the claim.
Workers’ compensation and common law claims can cost in excess of $1,000,000 so it’s simply not worth the risk.

Who do I need to cover?

You must have workers’ compensation insurance for anyone you employ who is defined as a ‘worker’ under the Act. This includes:

  • full-time workers on a wage or salary
  • part-time, casual and seasonal workers
  • workers on commission
  • piece workers
  • working directors (optional).

A contractor or sub-contractor may also be defined as a ‘worker’ if they are engaged to do work for the purpose of your trade or business
and they are paid in substance for their personal manual labour or services. For more information refer to the publication A technical note on
contractors and workers’ compensation availablefrom the WorkCover WA website.

How do I get an insurance policy?
You can contact an insurer to obtain a premium quote for your business. A list of approved insurers is available on the WorkCover WA website at www.workcover.wa.gov.au/service-providers/insurers/. Alternatively, you can use the services of an insurance broker who will negotiate with an insurer on your behalf.

Your insurance premium will vary depending on:

  • the number of workers you employ
  • the amount of wages paid to your workers
  • the industry in which you operate
  • your claims history and risk factors.

FIND OUT MORE EMPLOYER ESSENTIAL INFORMATION HERE