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Self-insurance licensing

Self-insured employers provide accident insurance for their workers, instead of insuring with WorkCover Queensland, the Workers' Compensation Regulator oversees self-insurance licensing in Queensland.

Self-insured employers manage their own workers' compensation claims. If your employer is licensed as a self-insurer, contact them directly to lodge a claim or for any claim questions.

To see if your employer is self insured visit the find a self insured employer page.

Self insurance criteria

The Workers' Compensation Regulator may issue or renew a licence for a single or group employer to be a self-insurer if the employer meets the following criteria (s. 71, Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003):

  • The number of full-time workers employed in Queensland is at least 2000.
  • Occupational health and safety performance is satisfactory.
  • The licence will cover all workers employed in Queensland.
  • The employer has given the Workers' Compensation Regulator an unconditional bank guarantee or cash deposit.
  • The employer has reinsurance cover.
  • All workplaces are accredited by the Workers' Compensation Regulator, or if not are adequately serviced by a rehabilitation and return to work coordinator who is in Queensland and employed under a contract (the contract can be a contract of service).
  • The employer has workplace rehabilitation policy and procedures.
  • The employer is fit and proper to be a self-insurer.

Group licences are restricted to:

  • related bodies corporate (as defined in Corporations Law) - all related bodies corporate that employ workers in Queensland are included in the application
  • employers in the same industry who have a pre-existing stable business relationship.

Becoming a self-insurer

Self-insured employers provide accident insurance for their workers, instead of insuring with WorkCover Queensland. the Workers' Compensation Regulator oversees self-insurance licensing in Queensland. You can apply to us to be a self-insurer whether you are a single or group employer-as long as you meet the criteria.

Before you apply, you need to pay a non-refundable fee to the Workers' Compensation Regulator- $15,000 for single employers and $20,000 for group employers. We have six months to decide your licence application and usually it takes 3 months. We issue licences for periods of up to four years, with the initial licence being for 2 years.

Once you have your self-insurance licence you must:

  • take on liability for outstanding WorkCover claims from before you received your self-insurance licence - this is assessed by actuaries appointed by you and WorkCover Queensland
  • pay your annual levy to the Workers' Compensation Regulator
  • pay workers' compensable claims
  • resource and manage workplace rehabilitation
  • maintain adequate workplace health and safety systems and resources
  • commit financial and management resources to comply with the legislation and any other licence conditions imposed by the Workers' Compensation Regulator
  • provide annual actuarial reports, and maintain bank guarantees and re-insurance
  • renew your licence at least 90 days before the licence period ends.

Monitoring insurer compliance and performance

The Workers' Compensation Regulator regulates all insurers in Queensland-WorkCover Queensland and self-insurers – monitoring compliance and performance against:

  • the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 and the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation 2003
  • performance standards and guidelines.

The Insurer performance management program (PDF, 188.45 KB) sets out how the Workers' Compensation Regulator will monitor insurer compliance and performance.

Insurers supply the Workers' Compensation Regulator with summary information about the claims they have processed on their system. This information in turn forms part of the national workers' compensation dataset and helps the Workers' Compensation Regulator to regulate and monitor the performance of the insurers. The Workers' compensation insurers' interface data specifications (PDF, 1981.78 KB) describe the interface between a self-insurer and the Workers' Compensation Regulator.

Self-insurer review and appeal rights

Workers of self-insured employers may ask for a review or lodge an appeal about claims decisions in certain circumstances. A worker can ask the Workers' Compensation Regulator to review a self-insured employer's decision on their workers' compensation claim. Workers unhappy with the decision can appeal to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.

If the self-insured employer is unhappy with the review decision, they can lodge an appeal with the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission. If unhappy with the Commission's decision, self-insured employers and workers can appeal to the Industrial Court-this decision is final.

Self-insurer licence appeal rights

A self-insured employer may appeal to a District or Supreme Court if they are unhappy with the Workers' Compensation Regulator's decision on:

  • calculation of the annual levy
  • the issue, renewal or cancellation of a licence
  • non-return of the balance of a bank guarantee or deposit following cancellation of a licence.
Last updated
14 June 2019

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