WORKERS COMPENSATION INSURANCE

A Summary of Territory & State Positions and links to their relevant websites can be found below for your reference.

If you would like to discuss Workers Compensation insurance in greater detail and how we can assist. Please feel free to contact the GALVANiiZE Insurance team.

Overview

The law states Employers must buy Workers Compensation insurance and there is significant government control in each state/territory regarding employee welfare. The workplace can have significant risks to your employees health and safety. Employers therefore have a duty of care to employees and are required to organise their workplace and their work systems to minimise the likelihood of injury.

In Australia, each State or Territory has developed legislation imposing a liability on employers to pay compensation to any of their employees who become incapacitated or are otherwise unable to work, or to dependents in the event of death. There is also a separate scheme for Commonwealth employees (“Comcare”) and seamen (“Seacare”). Under Australian Worker’s Compensation arrangements:

  • The insurance of these workers’ compensation is compulsory. The legislation in each State or Territory normally establishes a scheme under which insurers will become licensed to undertake this type of insurance. Some of the Australian licensed Workers Compensation insurance agents are (but may not be licensed in each state or territory): Allianz, GIO, CGU and QBE. There is also a provision for risks which the insurance market consider uninsurable.
  • The employer is liable for any injury that the employee receives in the work place.
  • Where there is negligence on the part of the employer, then the employee can sue in negligence under common law instead of pursuing workers’ compensation benefits. In addition to workers compensation insurance Management Liability (including statutory liability, directors liability and employment practices liability) and Travel Insurance should always be considered by any entity/company.

Each State or Territory in Australia has different degrees of statutory control of this product, which also means insurance brokers/advisors cannot assist in some states and/or territories at all. The legislation specifies the terms of the policy, including any maximum limitations which may be placed on the amount of cover, in money terms. In New South Wales the system is government-controlled and while insurers are handling premiums and claims, they have only been allowed to underwrite certain risks since 2001, provided they have been granted a restrictive licence. In Victoria, the scheme is administered by WorkCover, with some private insurers acting as claims agents. In Victoria and Queensland, insurance can only be placed with a government-administrated fund. Although schemes differ between jurisdictions, the general features of these schemes include:

  • Compensation for past and future economic loss
  • Medical and other out of pocket expenses
  • Weekly payments in lieu of wages
  • Rehabilitation and return to work expense
  • Provision of legal assistance to pursue a claim and intensive rehabilitation assistance.
  • General damages for pain and suffering and benefits payable to dependents

The availability of common law actions has been considerably restricted and in some cases abolished and in general there is a strong emphasis placed on the rehabilitation aspects of the schemes.

Summary of Territory & State Positions can be found in each of the headings below.

New South Wales

In New South Wales, The Workplace Injury Management and Workers’ Compensation Act 1998 and the Workers Compensation Act 1987 apply and the scheme is administered by WorkCover NSW, through private insurers. Generally, these insurers do not accept risks, but instead act as fund managers. Common law actions are available subject to the limitations in the Workers’ Compensation Act 1987 and are confined to serious injuries. Common law damages for an injured worker are only awarded in respect of loss of wages and future loss of earnings.

For a fee for service GALVANiiZE Insurance will assist with the co-ordination of this insurance on your behalf.

If you desire more information on NSW workers compensation insurance please visit www.workcover.nsw.gov.au

Victoria

In Victoria, The Accident Compensation Act 1985 is administered by Victorian WorkCover Authority which is also the principal insurer. Some private insurance companies act as WorkCover agents to manage the payment of premiums and processing of claims. Common law rights were abolished for a brief period between 1/12/1992 and 11/11/1997 and during that time damages could only be claimed where the injury sustained is a serious injury, namely:

  • 30% or more impairment.
  • Serious long term impairment or loss of body function.
  • Permanent serious disfigurement.
  • Severe long-term mental or severe long-term behavioural disturbance or disorder.
  • Loss of a foetus

Before any court proceedings claiming damages can be commenced, the degree of impairment arising from the injuries must be assessed and the worker must make an application to the Authority seeking its determination as to whether or not the injury is ‘serious’.

For a fee for service GALVANiiZE Insurance will assist with the co-ordination of this insurance on your behalf.

If you desire more information on VIC workers compensation insurance please visit www.workcover.vic.gov.au

Queensland

In Queensland, The Accident Compensation Act 1985 and Accident Compensation (WorkCover Insurance) Act 1993 apply and the scheme is administered by WorkCover Queensland and regulated by Q-COMP. WorkCover Queensland are the exclusive provider. Common law actions are permitted.

For a fee for service GALVANiiZE Insurance will assist with the co-ordination of this insurance on your behalf.

If you desire more information on QLD workers compensation insurance please visit www.workcoverqld.com.au or www.qcomp.com.au

South Australia

In South Australia, the scheme is administered under the Workers’ Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1986 and WorkCover Corporation Act 1994 and administered by theWorkCover Corporation of South Australia. Common law rights have been abolished.

For a fee for service GALVANiiZE Insurance will assist with the co-ordination of this insurance on your behalf.

If you desire more information on SA Workers compensation insurance please visit www.workcover.com

Western Australia

GALVANiiZE Insurance can assist you in this state. In Western Australia the scheme is legislated under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 1981 and administered by WorkCover Western Australia. Risks are insured by approved insurers (“agents”). Common law actions by injured workers are permitted in accordance of certain thresholds and requirements.

For a fee for service GALVANiiZE Insurance will assist with the co-ordination of this insurance on your behalf.

If you desire more information on WA Workers compensation insurance please visit

For more information please visit www.workcover.wa.gov.au

Tasmania

GALVANiiZE Insurance can assist you in this state. In Tasmania, the scheme is legislated under the Workers’ Rehabilitation & Compensation Act 1988 which provides for the licensing of workers’ compensation insurers by WorkCover Tasmania. There are currently nine licensed insurers who set premiums and manage claims. Common law actions are only permitted if the degree of impairment of the person is at least 30%.

For a fee for service GALVANiiZE Insurance will assist with the co-ordination of this insurance on your behalf.

If you desire more information on Tasmanian Workers compensation insurance please visit www.workcover.tas.gov.au

Northern Territory

In the Northern Territory, under the Work Health Act 1986, Only insurers approved by the Work Health Authority may issue workers’ compensation insurance and an approved insurer may not refuse to insure an employer who has tended the premium and complied with approved conditions except with the permission of the Authority. Common Law rights have been abolished.

For a fee for service GALVANiiZE Insurance will assist with the co-ordination of this insurance on your behalf.

If you desire more information on N.T workers compensation insurance please visit www.worksafe.nt.gov.au

Australian Capital Territory

The Workmens’ Compensation Act 1951 is administered by ACT WorkCover. The scheme is privately underwritten and market driven scheme with 9 ‘approved insurers’. Common Law actions are permitted.

For a fee for service GALVANiiZE Insurance will assist with the co-ordination of this insurance on your behalf.

If you desire more information on A.C.T workers compensation insurance please visit www.workcover.act.gov.au


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