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Rights and responsibilities

As an employer you have rights and responsibilities relating to your obligation to insure your workers.

If you have a business in Queensland and employ workers, it is compulsory to insure them against work-related injuries. Unless you are a licensed self-insurer, the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003requires Queensland employers to take out an Accident Insurance Policy to insure their workers with WorkCover Queensland.

If you employ a household worker—that is, a worker you employ in and about, or in connection with, your private residence or the grounds of the residence—it is compulsory to take out a Household Workers' Insurance Policy to cover you against potential compensation costs if the worker is injured while working for you.

Accident Insurance Policy—rights and responsibilities

Apply for a policy online

WorkCover's Accident Insurance Policy gives you peace of mind knowing you're insured against all statutory and damages claim costs in the event of a work-related injury to your workers. There are no limits or caps to the number of claims that can be made against your policy.

Apply online for an Accident Insurance Policy.

Renewing your policy

You are responsible for renewing your policy by accurately declaring wages and paying your premium during our renewal period each year.

See further information on renewing your policy.

Maintaining your policy

You should also maintain your policy throughout the year. This includes telling WorkCover if:

  • your primary business activity changes—this may affect your WorkCover industry classification (WIC) and premium rate
  • your contact details change
  • you wish to authorise anyone from your business to act on your behalf with us.

It is your right to raise any concerns about your insurance with us at any time. Please call us on 1300 362 128 or speak to your customer advisor. If you feel your concerns have not been resolved to your satisfaction, you can make an official complaint.

Penalties for not having a policy

If you are uninsured (because you have not taken out insurance or have not paid your premium by the due date) or if you are under-insured (because you have not accurately declared your wages):

  • you may be liable to pay a penalty (s57 of the Act); and
  • we are entitled to recover from you the unpaid premium together with a further penalty based upon the value of the unpaid premium (s57 of the Act).

Workers are still eligible for workers' compensation if their employer is uninsured and WorkCover must pay compensation to the worker if they are entitled to compensation. If we are required to pay a claim when you are uninsured, in addition to the amounts mentioned above, we are entitled to recover from you the amount we have paid out on the claim plus a further penalty based upon the amount paid on the claim (s57 of the Act).

As part of our ongoing compliance and education program, we conduct audits throughout the year to ensure that employers declare the correct amount of wages and have the appropriate cover. Find out what you need to do if you are selected for a wage audit.

Reviewing a decision

If you disagree with a decision that we have made, you can seek a review with the Workers' Compensation Regulator. The Regulator can review any decisions that we have made in calculating your premium. Read more about the review process.

Your rights and responsibilities when your worker has a claim.

Please call WorkCover on 1300 362 128, or speak to your customer advisor directly if you have any questions about your rights and responsibilities in Queensland.

Appointing a Rehabilitation and return to work coordinator

If you have wages in Queensland of more than 5200 times QOTE (Queensland Ordinary Times Earnings) for the preceding financial year, or are in a high risk industry with wages of more than 2600 times QOTE, you must appoint a rehabilitation and return to work coordinator within six months of establishing a workplace or starting to employ workers. The rehabilitation coordinator must be in Queensland, be employed under a contract, and must be appropriately qualified to carry out their role in the context of the environment they are working in.

"Appropriately qualified" is defined in the Acts Interpretation Act 1954 as "…having the qualifications, experience or standing appropriate to perform the function…".

Establishing and maintaining Workplace rehabilitation policy and procedures

If you pay wages in Queensland of more than 5200 times QOTE, or are in a high risk industry with wages in Queensland more than 2600 times QOTE for the preceding financial year, you must have workplace rehabilitation policies and procedures within six months of establishing a workplace or starting to employ workers. The policies and procedures must be reviewed at least every three years.

Disclosure of pre-existing injuries or medical conditions

During the pre-employment or interview process, employers can ask a prospective worker to disclose any pre-existing injuries or medical conditions they have at that time that may be aggravated by the duties of the position the prospective worker has applied for. Such disclosures could then limit the prospective worker’s compensation entitlements, if they are then hired in that position. However, there are important conditions on disclosing pre-existing injuries or medical conditions that employers should read and be aware of before asking a prospective worker to make such a disclosure.

Last updated
14 June 2019

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