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Workers Compensation - the basics

Have you been injured on the job? Did you get sick while at work and need to take time away from work? If the answer is yes to either of these questions then you are entitled to claim workers’ compensation.

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance payment that is provided to employees who are injured on the job or become ill as a result of their work. It may include any payment terms depending on the severity of the injury such as:

  • weekly or monthly payments to cover loss of income while not on work
  • lump sum payment in cases of permanent disability
  • medical expenses
  • rehabilitation costs to ensure the worker returns to work

What does workers’ compensation insurance cover?

Employers including small business owners have a duty of care to employees under the Safe Work Australia Act 2008. The employers must provide fair compensation for work related injuries, illnesses and fatalities.

Workers’ compensation insurance is a no-fault cover – meaning the cover is applicable regardless of who is at fault.  Workers Compensation aims to cover both the employer and the worker, in the event of an injury. If an employee is injured in the course of carrying out their job, the employer, by law, is liable to pay compensation regardless of who was at fault.  Workers’ compensation insurance provides protection for the employer against costly compensation claims.

The insurance policy covers not only the compensation entitlement to the injured worker but also the legal fees and damages awarded to the worker.

Who should be covered under workers’ compensation?

All employees should be covered. These can include:

  • full time employees
  • part time and casual workers especially for small businesses
  • workers on commission
  • piece or task workers
  • contractors or sub contractors

How much is workers’ compensation insurance?

Like most insurances, workers’ compensation insurance depends on a number of factors, these include your claims history, the level of risk involved in the job, risk mitigation strategies employed and the salary of the worker.

Note that workers’ compensation schemes vary between each state and territory in Australia, with each state having it’s own regulatory body.

The following links provide further information on Australian Workers Compensation requirements.

Over 100,000 Australian businesses have their workers compensation insurance with CGU; we are one of Australia’s leading providers of Workers Compensation cover.